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If you know how you want to plead, but you can't get to the court on the date on the Court Attendance Notice (CAN) to tell the magistrate, you may be able to fill out a form telling the court what you want to do. The form is called a 'Written Notice of Pleading'. On the form you need to tell the court whether you intend to plead guilty or not guilty.
If you tell the court that you intend to plead guilty, you may not need to go to the mention. The magistrate may sentence you in your absence, however, it is always best to attend court in person if you can, as you will be able to answer any questions the magistrate has when they are dealing with your case.
You cannot use a Written Notice of Pleading if you are on bail for the offence and your bail conditions require that you attend court.
A Written Notice of Pleading form must be sent to the court that you have to attend at least seven days before the mention date. If you send it any later and do not attend court, the court may make a decision without considering it.
A blank Written Notice of Pleading may be sent to you with your CAN. If you have not received a Written Notice of Pleading form, you can get one from:
If you use a Written Notice of Pleading to plead guilty, you will need to include the following:
If you do not include this information in your Written Notice of Pleading, the magistrate may sentence you without taking any of these issues into account.
After you complete the form you should:
You should sent the Written Notice of Pleading to the local courts postal address not the street address that appears on your CAN. You can find the local courts postal address on the
Local Courts website.
Instructions for filling out a Written Notice of Pleading - Pleading guilty.
Sample Written Notice of Pleading - Pleading guilty.
The court may reject your Written Notice of Pleading, if you pleaded guilty, if:
If the court rejects your Written Notice of Pleading the case will 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 or a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
After your court date, the court registry will send you a letter notifying you of the decision made by the magistrate. If you want to know the decision sooner, you can call the court registry and ask a court officer.
If you are not happy with the decision made by the court, it may be possible to appeal within 28 days of the decision.
For more information, see