A mitigation plea is an address by your lawyer to the Court on the date you plead guilty, to assist the Court in choosing an appropriate sentence that justice requires.
A mitigation plea states specific reasons for the Court to consider imposing a lighter sentence on you than it normally would. For example, family background, educational qualification, medical history, employment history and other personal circumstances which gave rise to the offence.
The Court looks at mitigating factors such as:
- when you pleaded guilty;
- your remorse;
- whether you have committed a crime for the first time;
- your willingness to “restore” the victim to the position he/she was in before the crime (e.g. repayment);
- no serious harm to victim;
- cooperation with the police;
- whether you planned to commit the crime and/or prepared to do so with others; and
- long standing good character.
Supporting evidence is useful for these purposes.
You will also be asked by Court if you wish to state any facts or circumstances to explain the reason(s) why you committed the offence and why the Court should be lenient in sentencing you. If you have chosen to plead guilty, this is your opportunity to explain yourself and plead for leniency.