The Plead Guilty Process: How A Lawyer Can Assist You In Criminal Proceedings In Singapore

The Plead Guilty Process: How A Lawyer Can Assist You In Criminal Proceedings In Singapore

What Does It Mean To Plead Guilty To A Criminal Offence In Singapore?

When you choose to plead guilty to a criminal charge in Singapore, you are unconditionally admitting to committing the offence stated in the charge put forth against you.

This is not a decision to be taken lightly, and choosing to pleading guilty means that you will have to fully agree with all the charges brought against you as well as the Prosecution's Statement of Facts that will be presented to you during the the Plead Guilty Hearing.

Once you make the decision to do so in Court, the Court will convict you based on this guilty plea and you will not be able to retract the guilty plea barring certain limited scenarios. After your conviction, you may only make an appeal against your sentence and not your conviction. 

What Is The Plead Guilty Process In Singapore?

While the exact details may vary depending on the matter/charges, the Plead Guilty process generally proceeds as follows:-

  1. Attending the mentions at the Mentions Court in Singapore. Generally, you or your lawyer will attend the mentions at Court 4(A) or Court 4(B) at the State Court for most matters.
  2. At the Mentions Court, the Court will inform you of your options on choosing to plead guilty or to claim trial. You will also be informed of your option to seek legal advice with respect to your matter.
  3. Depending on your particular fact situation, you may wish to write Letters of Representation to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) regarding the circumstances of your matter, setting out reasons why the AGC should either drop charges against you, give you a lower charge, or pursue a particular outcome on your sentencing. Depending on how your matter progresses, you may wish to write more than one Letter of Representation.
  4. Upon careful consideration and analysis of the facts and law surrounding your particular situation, you make the decision on whether or not to plead guilty to the charge/charges faced. If you decide to plead guilty, you / your lawyer will indicate that you intend to plead guilty during a mention at the Mentions Court. Your case will then be scheduled for a Plead Guilty Hearing on a subsequent date.
  5. You / your lawyer will prepare a Mitigation Plea and file the Mitigation Plea with the Court. A Mitigation Plea is an oral or written statement containing information about you, the circumstances surrounding your matter, and the relevant mitigating factors that might help to get you a lesser sentence.
  6. Attending the Plead Guilty Hearing. The charge / charges, and Statement of Facts will be read out to you in your language of choice. At this stage, it is pertinent to ensure that the Statement of Facts is accurate and in line with your version of events. If there are material facts that are inaccurate, it may be necessary to dispute these facts depending on whether it affects your culpability in the matter. If both you and the Prosecution agree on the Statement of Facts and the court is satisfied that you comprehend the repercussions of pleading guilty, the plea of guilt may be accepted and you will be convicted. The Court will then proceed to hear arguments from the prosecution on sentencing, followed by you / your lawyer providing an oral submission of your Mitigation Plea. You will then be sentenced accordingly.

What Is The Lawyer’s Role In The Plead Guilty Process?

An experienced criminal lawyer is not only familiar with the process, but also the law surrounding your offence(s). Every aspect of this process is important, because your conviction and sentence can have a large negative impact on your life, and your future.

Having a good criminal lawyer walk you through and advise you throughout the process can help to put your mind at ease and to make educated decisions regarding pleading guilty or possibly claiming trial. With respect to pleading guilty, criminal lawyers can assist you in:-

Helping You Understand Your Charges:

A criminal lawyer can give you advice on your charges and their various elements, and how to move forward, especially if you are uncertain whether to claim trial to the charges put forth against you. A good lawyer will explain all your options and ensure you have a good understanding of what you choose to do moving forward.

Writing Letters Of Representation:

Being able to represent your case in the best possible light to the prosecution is no easy task, requiring strong knowledge of the law surrounding your offence as well as the circumstances surrounding your particular situation. A well-crafted Letter of Representation could be advantageous for your case as your lawyer analyzes every element of your charge(s).

Preparing You For Your Plead Guilty Hearing:

Going to Court may be daunting to some, and this can be especially if you are appearing as the accused party. A lawyer will prep you on the procedure during the Plead Guilty Hearing, what you have to prepare beforehand, and what you have to pay particular attention to during the actual hearing.

Writing Your Mitigation Plea:

The Mitigation Plea is a critical component of how the judge ascertains your matter. Knowing the law surrounding your offence and being able to present relevant mitigating factors without qualifying your plea is important because it could have a substantial impact on how the judge decides on your sentence.

Representing And Acting For You In Your Plead Guilty Hearing:

A lawyer will represent and ensure that you don't make any unnecessary missteps when pleading guilty. 

During the hearing, the defence lawyer will work with you to ensure that there are no untrue facts in the Statement of Facts that could affect your culpability. After conviction, the lawyer will also be given a segment to make their oral submissions on the Mitigation Plea. A lawyer will be able to help highlight the salient points of the Mitigation Plea to the judge, and present your mitigating factors in a convincing and thorough manner.


If you are contemplating your options with respect to pleading guilty or claiming trial in a criminal matter, we can assist. Just get in touch with us through our contact form below and we will follow up with you regarding your matter.

Alternatively, you may wish to get in touch by contacting us at: 6550 6359

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Filed under: Criminal Defence
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