The Legal Process


Guilty Plea and Sentence

The accused is able, at any stage, to change his/her plea from not guilty to guilty, even on the morning of the trial. If the accused decides to plead guilty before trial, you will not be required to give evidence in court.
If the accused pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, he/she then needs to be sentenced by the court. The defendant will receive some discount in his/her sentence for pleading guilty to the offence, as opposed to being found guilty at trial.
The prosecutor will provide the sentencing judge, in the case of more serious offences, with the following to assist the court in deciding on sentence:
• all written Victim Impact Statements prepared by the victim, and the victim's family and friends;
• in some cases, any Victim impact statement read to the court; and
• the Antecedent Report-this is the record (if any) of the accused's previous offences and sentences.
After hearing submissions from both the defence counsel and the prosecutor, the judge will then sentence the accused.
To view detailed information on the sentencing process, please visit
To view sentencing remarks from South Australian Courts, please visit
For information on the different penalties that can be imposed on offenders, please visit the Legal Services Commission's Law Handbook [on-line] - Penalties.
Last Modified: 31 January 2012