Negotiating - Criminal trials

You will typically need a very strong case to be able to successfully negotiate with the prosecution to have the charge discontinued (dropped). Only attempt this if you have genuine grounds.

In some cases, the prosecution may be willing to amend your charge to a less serious one, or make changes to the statement of material facts, but only if you are willing to plead guilty. There may still be serious consequences if you plead guilty to a different charge.

If possible, you should get legal advice before agreeing to plead guilty. You should speak to a lawyer about negotiating with the prosecution on your behalf.

How to negotiate

Write to the investigating officer or to the prosecution to request a withdrawal or downgrading of a charge.

Some of the reasons in support of this might relate to:

  • the triviality of the offence
  • public interest considerations
  • your previous good character
  • an error of law or fact by the prosecution or arresting officer, or 
  • general problems or inadequacies with the evidence.


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.