​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Pleading not guilty in writing

If you have received a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) and you can't go to the mention, you may be able to plead not guilty in writing. You can do this by filling out a form called a 'Written Notice of Pleading' and sending it to the court at least seven days before your court date.

Icon - alertBefore pleading not guilty in writing, you should get legal advice. The court may not accept it and may want you to come to court instead.

Icon - alertYou cannot use a Written Notice of Pleading if you are on bail. You must attend court.

    ​​​​​​How do you plead not guilty in writing?

    A Written Notice of Pleading is a form that tells the court that you want to plead guilty or not guilty.

    If you plead not guilty in writing, you won't need to go the mention but you will still have to go to court on another date.

    When the magistrate gets your Written Notice of Pleading, he or she may:

    • adjourn the case and give you another date on which to attend court
    • make orders for the police to serve you with a brief of evidence (documents that make up the evidence against you) and give you a reply date
    • give you a hearing date, if no brief of evidence is required. ​

    How do you fill in a Written Notice of Pleading?

    A blank Written Notice of Pleading form may be sent to you with your court attendance notice (CAN). If you did not get one, you can get a copy from:

    If you use a Written Notice of Pleading to plead not guilty, you will need to include the following:

    • your name
    • the details of the offence listed on your CAN
    • the name and address of the court you are required to attend
    • the date you are required to attend court
    • the number of witnesses you intend to use 
    • any dates that you are unavailable in the three month period after the mention
    • your contact details, such as email and phone numbers
    • whether or not you have a lawyer.

    Instructions: Instructions for filling out a written notice of pleading - pleading not guilty.

    Sample: Sample written notice of pleading - pleading not guilty.

    How do you file a Written Notice of Pleading?

    After you complete the form you should:

    • sign the form
    • take it to the court, or send it by post or fax
    • call the court to check that it was received and placed on your file.

    Icon - alertA Written Notice of Pleading should be received by the court listed on your CAN at least seven days before the mention. If they receive it any later, the court may decide to sentence you in your absence.

    Can the court reject a Written Notice of Pleading?

    The court may reject your Written Notice of Pleading if:

    • you have not provided enough information to the court, or
    • the magistrate or registrar does not want to list the case for a hearing without you being there.

    If the court rejects your Written Notice of Pleading your case may be adjourned (postponed) and you will be notified that you are required to attend personally before the court on the next occasion.

    If you do not go to court on the new date, the case may be heard without you and a warrant may be issued for your arrest.

    What happens next?

    After your court date, the court will send you a letter telling you the date that your case will be heard. If you want to know sooner, you can call the court registry and ask them. 

    Before the hearing date you should start preparing your case. For more information, see Preparing for the hearing. ​