How do I prepare for a guilty plea?

When you plead guilty to a crime, you're admitting:

  • you did something against the law, and
  • you had a guilty state of mind when you broke the law.

You're also giving up your right to a and to have the Crown prove the criminal charges against you .

Plea inquiry

You must go through the “” before you . The purpose of the plea inquiry is to make sure you understand:

  • what it means to plead guilty
  • your rights if you

If your answers show that you don't understand the consequences of pleading guilty, or that someone has pressured you, the court can't accept a from you. Instead, the court must enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf. If this happens, you will have a trial and will only be sentenced if you're found guilty.


If your guilty plea is accepted, the judge finds you guilty. Your lawyer and the Crown will suggest a sentence. But the judge doesn't have to give you that . The judge decides your sentence based on what they think is appropriate and reasonable. Sentencing may happen right away or at a later date.

Legal help

Pleading guilty to a crime is a serious decision. You should speak with a lawyer or before you decide.

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