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Evidence may be adduced in sentencing proceedings for the purposes of establishing that, apart from the commission of the offence for which the offender is to be sentenced, the offender is a person of “good behaviour” or “otherwise” of good behaviour.
Evidence of good character may support a more lenient sentence. This is because lawyers at National Criminal Lawyers would argue that:
1. Reduced seriousness of the offence;
2. Reduced need for specific deterrence and enhances prospects of rehabilitation
3. Reduced weight given to retribution and general deterrence;
4. The could should apply “mercy”; and
The above is supported by comments in the High Court case of Ryan  HCA 21where McHugh J stated at :
“Another, but less articulated, reason for considering good character in the sentencing context appears to involve the idea that those morally good person is less deserving of punishment for a particular offence than a morally neutral or bad person who committed an identical offence.
People who are charged with a criminal offence are often guilty of that offence. National Criminal Lawyers are well versed in assessing and advising on whether a person should plead guilty to an offence or whether a defence at law exists.
When a person pleads guilty to an offence or is found guilty by a Court of competent jurisdiction, most of the time they will need to appear before the Court in what is called a “sentence”. This is a hearing before the Court where an Accused has an opportunity to advise the Court (through his/her lawyer) about factors that gave rise to the offence and to the Accused’s character generally. These factors are referred to as “mitigating factors”
The Court must consider these mitigating factors when making an order for an appropriate sentence.
Section 21A of The Act contain the mitigating factors that the Court must have regard to. They include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Having regard to the above factors which is contained in Law, a prudent Criminal Lawyer would advise their client to show evidence of remorse and contrition. The best ways to do this is by an offender preparing characters references by a person of standing and a letter of apology.
Below is a guide on how to write a character reference and letter of apology.
References are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in Court. They are generally tendered without question, and always effect the severity of any applicable penalty, often to a marked degree. Clearly, this is a client’s golden opportunity to impress upon the court what a marvellous, hardworking, family and community orientated person you they are.
There are a few basic rules in obtaining references;
To the client
To the Person Writing the Reference
The Presiding Magistrate
[insert which court here] Local Court
Re: Insert name – Character Reference
Letters of apology should follow the same format as references in terms of presentation. However, letters should include:
The offender should show understanding of the seriousness of the offence e.g. impact on the community, yourself and others in your life.
National Criminal Lawyers take pride and passion in representing our clients and always provide quality legal representation in the metropolitan area or throughout New South Wales. We have a policy of being highly accessible to our clients and have genuine commitment to each and every client. These factors set us apart from other criminal law firms.
National Criminal Lawyers offers one FREE consultation with a Senior Criminal Lawyers guaranteed which can help you understand the process, explore possible defences, discuss proven legal strategies and understand what possible outcomes might be achieved.
National Criminal Lawyers practices exclusively in Criminal Law and has employed some of the best criminal experts with over 25 years combined experience.
If you have been charged with any Criminal offence our Team at National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in addressing on penalty and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes. Please contact our office on 02 9893 1889 or visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au for more information about your options.