What information do I need to provide to my criminal defence lawyer for sentencing?
When a person comes to be sentenced by the Courts, a criminal defence lawyer requires information about the accused person and the offending in order to:
Explain the offending (and any reasons for it that make the person’s offending less serious);
Explain the personal background of the person, for example:
Any circumstances of the person that warrant a lesser sentence to be imposed;
Whether the accused person has no prior criminal record;
Whether they are otherwise of a good character and well-respect persons in their community;
Whether they suffer from a health condition;
Whether they suffer from a material illness (and if so, determine whether reports relating to that mental illness should be obtained)
Whether the person has any dependents such as a wife, children, or in some instances, employees etc.
There is no limit on what is material - what is required is detailed instructions from you and your background so that your criminal defence lawyer can make informed decisions as to what submissions are required to be put on your behalf so that the right sentence can be imposed. Given the limited extent to which new evidence can be relied upon in an appeal, the time for bringing forward all relevant information is prior to your sentencing, so that your criminal defence lawyer, and more importantly, the Court, is fully appraised of your personal circumstances.