If you are going to court to plead guilty to a driving or criminal charge, the police prosecutor will give the magistrate some information to take into consideration before sentencing you.
The Police Facts Sheet is a document that tells the version of events according to the police. It is usually attached to the Court Attendance Notice (CAN).
The police write the facts sheet based on what they saw and heard and what the victim or witnesses say they saw and heard.
If you plead guilty, the police prosecutor will hand up (give to) the magistrate the facts sheet. The magistrate will read it before deciding what sentence to give you.
Sample Police Facts Sheet.
It is important that you read the facts sheet carefully before you enter a plea of guilty. As you read it, you should think about whether the police facts sheet:
If you disagree with the facts sheet, you can write to the police before you go to court or ask them to change it on the day of court. For more information, see
Negotiating with the police.
When you enter a plea of guilty the police prosecutor will hand up (give to) the magistrate your criminal record (if you have a record).
A criminal record is a record of convictions against you. It will also include any offences for which you received a dismissal under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.
A criminal history includes everything on your criminal record, but also includes details of all court matters, apprehended violence orders, and whether you have been convicted or not.
Check with the prosecutor whether they are handing up your criminal record or your criminal history. They should hand up your record, not your history. A criminal history is usually handed up when you make an application for bail. The criminal history will not assist you and may be prejudicial. Check again before it is handed up to the magistrate to make sure it is not a document that includes offences you were charged with but never found guilty of. If the prosecutor has handed up the wrong document, just ask them to change it. Only raise an objection if they insist on handing up the wrong document.
The magistrate may consider your criminal record when sentencing you.
The prosecutor will have a copy of your criminal record. You can contact them before court and ask for a copy or you can ask the prosecutor to see it at court before your matter is called.
If your matter is called before you have had a chance to review it, you can ask for your matter to be 'stood in the list' so you can review this material.
You should read your criminal record carefully. Make sure that everything on it is correct.
If you have a long criminal record look for any recent 'gaps' that show you did not commit any criminal offences for a period of time and point these out to the magistrate when you are being sentenced.
If you are having trouble understanding your criminal record, you should get
Sometimes there may be a mistake on your criminal record, such as a conviction being incorrectly recorded. You can contact the Criminal Records Section of NSW Police or fill out and send a Disputing Criminal Record Information form.
For more information, see Criminal History Check on the NSW Police website.
If you don't have time to do this before court, you could tell the prosecutor you disagree with it. You may also need to ask the magistrate to adjourn your case to give you time to contact NSW Police and try to get the record corrected.
For information about how having a criminal record can impact on you, see
Driving and criminal records.
Your driving record is kept by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). It contains information about:
It may also be referred to as a traffic record.
You can get a copy of your driving record from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) or you can ask the prosecutor to see it at court before your matter is called.
If your matter is called before you have had a chance to review it, you can ask for your matter to be 'stood in the list' so you can review the record.
The magistrate will consider your driving record when considering how to sentence you for the offence. Your driving record will tell the magistrate:
It can be difficult to read your driving record but it is important to carefully read it.
Look at each offence listed. Do you remember going to court for that offence? Is the penalty listed the same as the penalty you actually received from the court?
If you believe your driving record is incorrect, you should contact RMS and try to have your records corrected.
For information about having personal details held by RMS corrected, see the Access to information on the RMS website.
If you do not have time to do this before court, you could tell the prosecutor you disagree with it. You may also need to ask the magistrate to adjourn your case to give you time to contact RMS and try to get the record corrected.
For information about how having a driving record can impact on you, see
Driving and criminal records.