Justice Process - Guilty Plea

A plea of "guilty" means that the accused admits responsibility for the crime.

What happens if the accused pleads guilty?

  • The judge will listen to the plea and listen to the facts of the case.
  • The Crown prosecutor will read the facts of the case in court.
  • The accused or their lawyer will have a chance to speak to the judge.
  • The judge will find the accused guilty and after both Crown and Defence make recommendations to what the sentence will be, the Judge will make the final decision.
  • The judge can decide on a harsher sentence than the recommended one.  It is also possible to withdraw a guilty plea.
  • When there is a guilty plea, there will not be a trial, and the victim does not have to go to court.
  • The Crown prosecutor will ask the victim to provide a Victim Impact Statement.  It will be up to the victim whether they want to provide one or not.
  • The judge will consider the Victim Impact Statement in the sentence.
  • The victim is also welcome to attend the sentencing hearing if they choose to, and read their impact statement.
  • To learn more about the Victim Impact Statement, check out the link on our site Victim Impact Statement.