A mitigation plea is an opportunity for you to explain to the judge the circumstances of the offence, so that the judge can arrive at an appropriate sentence.
What is a mitigation plea
A mitigation plea is an oral or written statement containing information about yourself or the circumstances of the offence that may result in a lower sentence imposed.
The purpose of your mitigation plea is for you to convey relevant mitigating factors so that the judge can arrive at a fair and just sentence. These can be reasons, facts or circumstances that seek to persuade the judge to exercise leniency or explain why your punishment should be lower.
Whether you plead guilty or are found guilty after the trial, you have a right to make a plea in mitigation before a sentence is passed.
If you pleaded guilty, you should take special care against qualifying your plea of guilt. A plea of guilt is qualified when you raise facts in your mitigation plea which contradict those stated in the statement of facts (SOF). If this happens, the judge will reject your plea of guilt and your case will proceed to trial.
How to prepare a mitigation plea
Your mitigation plea should include mitigating factors. You may refer to the following list for common examples of mitigating factors. This list is not exhaustive, and you should only consider factors which apply to your case.
A lawyer would be in the best position to advise you on the mitigating factors that are relevant to your case.