Discount for Pleading Guilty

The biggest discount anyone is likely to receive on sentence in a criminal matter is for entering a plea of guilty. If done at the first available opportunity, a plea of guilty can get you a discount of as much as 25%.

In R v Thomson; R v Houlton [2000] NSWCCA 309 the court handed down a guideline judgment that considered all the relevant factors.

The court held that the discount for a plea of guilty should fall in the range of 10-25 percent.

The two primary factors to be considered in determining the size of the discount:

  • the time at which the plea is entered
  • the value of the plea, taking into account the “complexity of the issues about which evidence will have to be gathered and adduced.”

The Criminal Case Conferencing Trial Act 2008 clearly sets out the discounts that can be expected for a plea of guilty in a serious matter that is finalised in the District Court:

  • lea of guilty before the offender is committed for trial: 25% discount
  • plea of guilty after committal for trial: 12.5%

The potential 25% discount for a plea of guilty available to an offender does not include consideration of the remorse or contrition shown by the offender. That is a separate consideration.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


Armstrong Legal
Social Rating
Based on 277 reviews
Legal Hotline.
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223