Plea Negotiation

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When to enter a plea?

Understanding how the process works –

A criminal case usually calls, in the first instance, at a pleading diet. When you appear on this first occasion, it is important (if you are unrepresented at that point) to seek an adjournment of your charges so that you can seek advice from a Glasgow criminal lawyer who will be able to assist you with:

  • Understanding the charge and the allegations
  • Obtaining any disclosure (evidence) that is held by the Procurator Fiscal in the early stages on the matter

  • Obtaining your instructions as to how you wish to deal with the charges (plead guilty, plead not guilty or await receipt of further evidence)

What your Glasgow criminal lawyer can do if the case against you is weak

This advice is important and should not be overlooked as it will ensure that your criminal charges are approached with the benefit of comprehensive advice. Likewise, if there are obvious problems with the prosecution’s case, you will have the comfort of knowing your position from an early stage in the proceedings. When that is the case, your Glasgow criminal lawyer may be able to correspond with the Procurator Fiscal and propose that in the circumstances, your charges should be dropped.

What your Glasgow criminal lawyer can do if the prosecution case against you is strong

Conversely, if your Glasgow criminal lawyer takes your instructions and, together with his consideration of all the material, forms the view that the case against you is very strong (or overwhelming), then that early advice will be important to assist you in deciding whether you wish enter an early plea of guilty. There are important benefits to an offender when they enter an early plea of guilty at an early stage. There can be a significant percentage reduction in the sentence. An early plea is otherwise a reflection of the offender’s remorse and contrition for their actions, and so it is mitigating in this general sense as well. In some instances, this demonstration of remorse can be a determinative factor for the Court when considering whether it is appropriate to impose a period of imprisonment or not.

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