It is important for a defendant to get legal advice prior to their first court date, if possible, as sentencing reductions may apply depending at what point in the proceedings a guilty plea is entered (if one is entered at all).
If a defendant enters a guilty plea within 4 weeks of his or her first court appearance, then the court may reduce the sentence that would otherwise have been imposed by up to 40 per cent (although there are some sentences that can never be reduced). The closer the matter gets to trial, the less the court may reduce the sentence [see Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1989 (SA) s 10B].
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.