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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70508
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Can i plead guilty to a charge of criminal damage (under

Customer Question

Hi,can i plead guilty to a charge of criminal damage (under 5000 pounds) with a letter of mitigation to a magistrates court in England?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello have you entered any plea so far?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No,I have been charged at the Police station with criminal damage and have been bailed to appear on 7th December at City of London Magistrates
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I have an answer please?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I have been asked to look at this.

What is the nature of the criminal damage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is a broken indicator on a motorcycle which I had moved as it had caused damage to my own motorcycle.The person is claiming over 800 pounds of damage which is ridiculous.The amount is stated on the charge sheet.I admitted to the Police under caution that I had moved to bike and put it down on the ground on its side.when they asked me if it was possible that I had damaged it I said it was possible but did not admit to actually damaging it.There are no witnesses to any of this.I had a confrontation with the other person after the event of me moving the bike but this has not been mentioned on the charge sheet.I have been charged with the damage only.I do not want to plead not guilty and go to trial as I cannot get legal aid and it will cost me a fortune.I want to ask if in this type of case I can plead guilty by letter with an accompanying letter of mitigation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Its is to be heard in front of a magistrates court
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Why did you move it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I moved it because it had been rammed in a tiny space between mine and one other bike,he damaged my bike which I had just bought so I was angry and pulled his out and put it on the ground.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.


I'm not sure if you are asking whether you can plead by post? If so, you cannot. You are on bail and will commit an offence if you do not attend.

You can plead and use the duty solicitor to mitigate for you or you can represent yourself.

You are right to plead guilty though. On these facts you would be convicted.

It is a shame the police didn't offer you a conditional caution although I suppose they would argue that you hadn't fully admitted the offence but it is not the best justification.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks,is it as simple as just turning up early for court and finding the duty solicitor? and,if I represent myself will I get a chance to explain all the circumstances surrounding the charge,after I plead guilty? Can I put it in writing rather than do it verbally? thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you will but it is better to do it through representation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess by that you mean I should do it verbally?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You could hand up a letter I suppose. It isn't really proper to do that but you never know what Magistrates will allow. You still carry the risk that you will say something aggravating though.