Pilot scheme to deal with drink drivers raises concern

It could unduly influence accused person to plead guilty, lawyers say

Under the pilot scheme, a letter informs a first-time offender arrested on a drink-driving charge, without injury or damage to property, of the sentencing framework prosecutors will adopt should the offender plead guilty.
Under the pilot scheme, a letter informs a first-time offender arrested on a drink-driving charge, without injury or damage to property, of the sentencing framework prosecutors will adopt should the offender plead guilty.LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO

A pilot scheme by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) to inform accused persons of the prosecution's sentencing position before their cases go to court has raised eyebrows among lawyers.

In the scheme, which lawyers say could unduly influence an accused person to plead guilty, a first-time offender arrested on a drink-driving charge without injury or damage to property is given a letter setting out the sentencing framework prosecutors will adopt, should he plead guilty.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 29, 2019, with the headline 'AGC sentencing position scheme raises eyebrows'. Subscribe