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S32 Step By Step Guide

Negotiations with Police?

It may be possible to put your client's behaviour in context for police and to persuade them not to proceed to charges.

If charges have been laid, consider whether all of the elements of the offence have been made out. If not, you may want to set the matter down for hearing with the view to ultimately making a no prima facie case submission at court. It is important to note that you are not precluded from making a section 32 application in the event the court decides against your no case submission.

Consider writing representations to the police asking that the matter be withdrawn, on the basis of the effect of your client's disability or the circumstances of the incident leading to charges. A factor to be weighed in making this decision is your assessment of whether or not police might remedy any deficiency in the case, if put on notice.

Police may take into account your client's disability when deciding whether or not to withdraw an offence. Charge negotiations with police occurring prior to the hearing date are generally conducted in writing and should, if police have carriage of the matter, be directed to the Local Area Commander.

(See the NSW Young Lawyers' Practitioners Guide to Criminal Law available online at for information on charge negotiations generally.)

Additional reading - IDRS case study Negotiations with police - 'Tim'

Fitness?Keeping Charges in the Local Court

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