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Clearer laws on guilty pleas pass

27 November 2012

New laws have passed which create clear boundaries on sentence reductions for those who plead guilty.

The Criminal Law (Sentencing) (Guilty Pleas) Amendment Bill 2012 was introduced this year and followed extensive consultation with the legal profession, victim services and police.

The laws puts a clear cap on the available sentence reductions for those who cooperate with authorities.

Sentence reductions, as outlined by the Criminal Law (Sentencing) (Guilty Pleas) Amendment Bill 2012, include:

  • a reduction of up to 40 per cent for pleading guilty within four weeks of the defendant’s first scheduled court appearance;
  • a reduction of up to 30 per cent for pleading guilty after four weeks from the defendant’s first scheduled court appearance, but before a committal to a trial; and
  • a reduction of up to 20 per cent for pleading guilty after committing to a trial, but before 12 weeks from the arraignment date.

The laws will come into effect on a date still to be proclaimed.