Sample of the Format of a Plea

Essay by ginapriv August 2006

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Following our discussion on the 7th April, 2006, I am writing to inform you of the nature of the charges being brought against you, and to provide you with advice as to how you might plead in your upcoming court appearance.

I have received a copy of the police brief and must warn you that the prosecutions evidence against you is compelling. Consequently, it is necessary to thoroughly consider all available options when determining the appropriate plea. These will be explained later in the letter for your consideration. Firstly, I draw your attention to the nature of the charges against you.

Evidence Relating to the Charge of Stalking

You have been charged with stalking ... between the dates of ... and ... .

Under section 21A of the Crimes Act 1958 Vic, a person is guilty of stalking if they engaged in a course of conduct that caused either apprehension or fear in a person for their safety.

This includes actions such as following, telephoning and loitering outside or near a person's home or place of business.

In order to prove the charge of stalking, it is necessary that the prosecution prove that:

a) You voluntarily engaged in a course of conduct, which caused physical or mental harm to ... ; and

b) That you acted with the intention to cause such harm.

In relation to the first aspect, the prosecution will argue that the evidence contained in the police brief proves that your actions caused .... to be in fear for her safety.

In relation to the second aspect of intention, the statute provides that if you ought to have understood that engaging in conduct of this kind would be likely to cause harm or arouse fear in the victim, then the offence of stalking has taken place. The...