NSW DPP policy
This page looks at the considerations that the NSW DPP take into account when deciding whether to withdraw charges, reduce charges, vary the facts or other forms of charge negotiation
- Generally charge negotiations are viewed as “a good thing” and are encouraged by the NSW DPP
- The alternative charge must adequately reflect the essential criminality of the conduct and the plea must provide adequate scope for sentencing (i.e. it must adequately give effect to the principles of sentencing, e.g. deterrence, punishment, safety of the community)
- There must be evidence to support the prosecution case
- Whether the cost and time weighed against the likely outcome of the matter if it proceeded to trial is substantial
- Whether it will save a vulnerable witness or victim from the stress of testifying in a trial and/or a victim has expressed a wish not to proceed with the original charge or charges
- The views of the police officer-in-charge and the victim (however, these alone are not determinative as it is the general public interest that must be served)
- Acceptance of an alternative plea must not distort the facts and create an artificial basis for sentencing
- Acceptance of an alternative plea is not acceptable if you continue to assert your innocence with respect to charges to which you have offered to plead guilty
- In some cases the prosecution may not consider an offer unless its terms are clearly set out in writing
- The content and timing of communications from the defence to the prosecution will also be significant, given the weight accorded to early and appropriate pleas
- Where a prosecutor is contemplating accepting a plea of guilty to manslaughter based on mental impairment under s23A of the Crimes Act 1900 – community values are to be taken into consideration
- Charges placed on a “Form 1”: These are a list of charges prepared by the prosecution, with which you have been charged, but not convicted. They can be taken into account when dealing with you for the principal offence.
WHERE TO NEXT?
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.