Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion and Plea Agreement)

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion and Plea Agreement)
L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Act
11 of 1999

Current Authorised Pages
Pages Authorised

(inclusive) by L.R.O.
1–15 ..

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (PLEA DISCUSSION
AND PLEA AGREEMENT) ACT

CHAPTER 13:07

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
2 Chap. 13:07 and Plea Agreement)

Note on Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
and Plea Agreement) Chap. 13:07 3

CHAPTER 13:07

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (PLEA DISCUSSION
AND PLEA AGREEMENT) ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

PART I

PRELIMINARY
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application of Act.

PART II

PLEA DISCUSSIONS
4. Plea discussion.
5. Improper inducement.
6. Representation by Attorney-at-law.
7. Prohibition against plea discussions.
8. Victim to be consulted.

PART III

PLEA AGREEMENTS
9. Plea agreement.

10. Hearing in Chambers.

PART IV

GENERAL
11. Views of victim in open Court.
12. Offer of accused to plead guilty.
13. Withdrawal from agreement by accused person.
14. Appeal against sentence.
15. Withdrawal from agreement by prosecution.

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
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16. Inadmissible evidence.
17. Plea agreement not binding on the Court.

SCHEDULE.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS—Continued

SECTION

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
and Plea Agreement) Chap. 13:07 5

CHAPTER 13:07

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (PLEA DISCUSSION
AND PLEA AGREEMENT) ACT

An Act to establish a system of plea discussions and plea
agreements and matters incidental thereto.

[8TH SEPTEMBER 1999]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Criminal Procedure (Plea
Discussion and Plea Agreement) Act.

2. In this Act—
“Court” means the High Court or the Magistrate’s Court;
“Director of Public Prosecutions” means the Public Officer

appointed under section 90 of the Constitution to
undertake to execute the responsibilities assigned to him
under that section;

“improper inducement” includes—
(a) the coercion of an accused person to enter into a

plea discussion; and
(b) the fraudulent misrepresentation of a material fact

by the prosecutor either before a plea discussion
is entered into or during the course of such
discussion;

“plea agreement” or “agreement” means an agreement
entered into—

(a) between the accused person and the
prosecutor; or

(b) between the Attorney-at-law for the accused
person and the prosecutor,

whereby the accused person agrees to plead guilty and the
prosecutor agrees to take a particular course of action;

11 of 1999.

Commencement.

Short title.

Interpretation.

Ch. 1:01.

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
6 Chap. 13:07 and Plea Agreement)

“plea discussion” or “discussion” means a discussion held—
(a) between an accused person and a prosecutor; or
(b) between an Attorney-at-law for an accused person

and a prosecutor,
either before the arraignment of the accused person, or at any
time after the trial of the accused person commences, with
the view towards arriving at an agreement;

“particular course of action” includes the following:
(a) a recommendation to the Court to dismiss other

charges;
(b) a recommendation to the Court as to a particular

sentence;
(c) an agreement not to oppose a request by the

accused person, or his Attorney-at-law, for a
particular sentence;

(d) an agreement that a specific sentence is
appropriate for the disposition of the case;

“prosecutor” means the Director of Public Prosecutions, an
Attorney-at-law in the office of the Director of Public
Prosecutions, a police officer or an Attorney-at-law to whom
the Director of Public Prosecutions has granted a fiat;

“relative” means the spouse (including a common law spouse),
parent or step-parent, child or step-child of the victim.

3. (1) This Act applies to a plea discussion and a plea
agreement in respect of an indictable or summary offence.

(2) This Act does not affect the right of an accused person
to plead guilty without entering into a plea discussion.

PART II

PLEA DISCUSSIONS

4. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a prosecutor and an
accused person or where the accused person is represented by

Application
of Act.

Plea discussion.

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an Attorney-at-law, a prosecutor and the Attorney-at-law for the
accused person, may engage in plea discussions.

(2) A prosecutor other than the Director of Public
Prosecutions shall not enter into plea discussions with an accused
person or his Attorney-at-law, unless he first obtains the written
permission of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

5. (1) A prosecutor who uses an improper inducement to
encourage an accused person to participate in a plea discussion is
liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty-five thousand
dollars and to imprisonment for five years.

(2) A police officer or the Attorney-at-law for an accused
person is liable to a fine of twenty thousand dollars and to
imprisonment for five years where he—

(a) conspires with the prosecutor in the commission
of an offence under subsection (1); or

(b) attempts, incites, aids, abets, counsels or procures
the commission of such an offence under
subsection (1).

(3) No prosecution under this section shall be instituted
without the written consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

6. (1) Where an accused person has retained an Attorney-
at-law, a prosecutor shall not engage in a plea discussion directly
with the accused person in the absence of his Attorney-at-law.

(2) A prosecutor shall inform an accused person of his
right to representation, by an Attorney-at-law, in the plea discussion.

(3) An accused person who cannot afford to retain
an Attorney-at-law may apply for legal aid under the Legal Aid
and Advice Act.

(4) Where an accused person is not eligible for legal aid,
the prosecutor shall not have any discussion directly with the
accused, unless the accused person informs the prosecutor, by way
of the form set out as Form 1 in the Schedule that he does not wish
to be represented by an Attorney-at-law.

Improper
inducement.

Representation
by Attorney-at-
law.

Ch. 7:07.

Schedule
Form 1.

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
8 Chap. 13:07 and Plea Agreement)

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), the Judge or
Magistrate, in the exercise of his jurisdiction, may appoint an
Attorney-at-law for the accused person.

7. A prosecutor shall not suggest, conclude or participate in
any plea discussion that requires the accused person to plead guilty
to an offence that—

(a) is not disclosed by the evidence;
(b) inadequately reflects the gravity of the provable

conduct of the accused person unless, in
exceptional circumstances, the charge is
justifiable in terms of the benefits that will accrue
to the administration of justice, the protection of
society, or the protection of the accused;

(c) requires the prosecutor to withhold or distort
evidence.

8. (1) A prosecutor shall, unless the circumstances make it
impracticable to do so, obtain the views of the victim or a relative
of the victim before concluding plea discussions.

(2) A prosecutor who arrives at a plea agreement with
the accused person shall ensure that victim is told the substance
of, and reasons for, the agreement, unless compelling reasons, such
as the likelihood of serious harm to the accused or to another person,
require otherwise.

PART III

PLEA AGREEMENTS

9. (1) A plea agreement which has been concluded between
the prosecutor and the Attorney-at-law for the accused person shall
be set out as in Form 2 of the Schedule and where such agreement
is concluded, the prosecutor shall file the agreement with the
Registrar or the Clerk of the Peace, as the case may be.

(2) A plea agreement which has been concluded between
the prosecutor and an unrepresented accused person shall be set

Prohibition
against plea
discussions.

Victim to be
consulted.

Plea agreement.

Schedule.
Form 2.

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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
and Plea Agreement) Chap. 13:07 9

out as in Form 3 of the Schedule and where such agreement is
concluded it shall be signed by both parties in the presence of a
Justice of the Peace and filed with the Registrar or Clerk of the
Peace, as the case may be.

(3) The Registrar or the Clerk of the Peace shall, upon
receipt and filing of the agreement, set the matter down for hearing
before a Judge or Magistrate.

10. (1) The prosecutor shall disclose to the Court, in
Chambers, in the presence of the Attorney-at-law for the accused
or, where the accused is unrepresented, in the presence of
the accused—

(a) the substance of, and reasons for, the agreement;
and

(b) whether any previous agreement has been
disclosed to another Judge or Magistrate in
connection with the same matter and, if so, the
substance of that agreement.

(2) The Judge or Magistrate shall, in open Court, before
accepting a plea agreement determine to his satisfaction that—

(a) no improper inducement was made to the accused
person to enter into the agreement;

(b) the accused person understands the nature,
substance and consequences of the agreement;

(c) the offence to which the agreement relates
adequately reflects the gravity of the provable
conduct of the accused, unless in exceptional
circumstances the agreement is justifiable in
terms of the benefits that will accrue to the
administration of justice, the protection of society
or the protection of the accused.

PART IV

GENERAL
11. (1) Subject to subsection (2) the Judge or Magistrate

shall in open Court seek the views of the victim or a relative of the
victim, before recording the terms of the agreement and
passing sentence.

Schedule.
Form 3.

Hearing in
Chambers.

Views of victim
in open Court.

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10 Chap. 13:07 and Plea Agreement)

(2) The Judge or Magistrate may, where he considers it
prudent to do so, retire to Chambers to hear the views of the victim
or relative, as the case may be, and such views shall be heard in
the presence of the prosecutor and the Attorney-at-law for the
accused or, in event that the accused is unrepresented, in the
presence of the accused.

12. (1) Where an accused person, charged for an offence
offers, at the commencement of the trial or at any time thereafter
before its conclusion, to plead guilty to an offence if other
charges against him are dismissed, the Judge or Magistrate shall
inquire of the prosecutor whether he agrees to accept the offer of
the accused person.

(2) Where the prosecutor agrees to accept the offer of the
accused person the matter shall be disposed of accordingly.

(3) Where the prosecutor refuses to accept the offer of
the accused person, the trial shall continue.

13. An accused person who enters into a plea agreement shall
be entitled to withdraw from that agreement before sentence, or to
appeal against a conviction based on the agreement if—

(a) it was entered into as a result of an improper
inducement;

(b) it was entered into as a result of a
misrepresentation as to the substance or
consequences of a plea agreement; or

(c) the prosecutor has breached the terms of the plea
agreement.

14. (1) Where an accused person pleads guilty to an offence
and, upon his conviction, receives a sentence that accords with,
or is within the range anticipated by, the plea agreement, the
Director of Public Prosecutions shall not be permitted to appeal
against the sentence imposed by the Judge or Magistrate unless it
is shown that—

(a) the prosecutor, in the course of a plea discussion,
was wilfully misled by the accused person in some
material respect; or

Offer of accused
to plead guilty.

Withdrawal
from agreement
by accused
person.

Appeal against
sentence.

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
and Plea Agreement) Chap. 13:07 11

(b) the Court, in passing sentence, was wilfully
misled in some material respect.

(2) Where the Director of Public Prosecutions is of the
opinion that the grounds described in subsection (1)(a) or (b) exist
he may appeal against the sentence with leave of the Court of
Appeal or a Judge thereof.

(3) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall give notice
of appeal in such manner as is prescribed by the Rules of Court,
within fourteen days of the sentence passed.

(4) The Court of Appeal or a Judge thereof may extend
the time within which notice of appeal may be given.

15. (1) Notwithstanding an accused person’s conviction
and sentence pursuant to a plea agreement, the Director of
Public Prosecutions may seek the leave of the Court of Appeal to
have the agreement, conviction or sentence set aside where
the prosecutor—

(a) was, in the course of plea discussions, wilfully
misled by the accused person or by his Attorney-
at-law in some material respect; or

(b) was induced to conclude the plea agreement by
conduct amounting to an obstruction of justice.

(2) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall give notice
of appeal in such manner as prescribed by the Rules of Court within
twelve months of the sentence passed.

(3) The Court of Appeal may extend the time within which
notice of appeal may be given.

16. Evidence of a plea agreement later withdrawn or of an
offer to enter into a plea agreement, or of a statement made in
connection with any such agreement or offer, is inadmissible in
any proceedings.

17. The Judge or Magistrate may reject a plea agreement
entered into between the prosecution and the accused person if he
considers that it is not in the interest of justice to do so.

Withdrawal
from agreement
by prosecution.

Inadmissible
evidence.

Plea agreement
not binding on
the Court.

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
12 Chap. 13:07 and Plea Agreement)

SCHEDULE
FORM 1

(This Form applies where the accused/defendant does not wish to
be represented by an Attorney-at-law)

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

DECLARATION BY ACCUSED/DEFENDANT OF DESIRE
TO REPRESENT SELF IN THE HIGH COURT/

MAGISTRATE’S COURT

A.B. — The State/Complainant
v

C.D. — The Accused/Defendant

WHEREAS the accused/defendant was on the ......................................................... day of

..................................................... 20......... charged with the following offence(s):
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

And whereas the accused/defendant having been informed by the prosecutor as
to his right to representation by an Attorney-at-law, informed the prosecutor of his desire
to represent himself.

Dated this .............................. day of ..........................................., 20 .........

(Signed) (Signed)
Prosecutor Accused/Defendant

CERTIFICATION OF JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

I .........................................................................., Justice of the Peace for the County of

..........................................................................................., hereby certify that the above

declaration was signed by the prosecutor, ............................................, and the accused/

defendant ....................................................., in my presence on the .................... day of

...................................................., 20.........

(name of prosecutor)

(name of accused/defendant)

(Signed)
Justice of the Peace

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
and Plea Agreement) Chap. 13:07 13

FORM 2

(This Form applies where the accused/defendant is represented
by an Attorney-at-law)

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

PLEA AGREEMENT IN THE HIGH COURT/
MAGISTRATE’S COURT

A.B. — The State/Complainant
v

C.D. — The Accused/Defendant
WHEREAS the accused/defendant was on the ......................................................... day of

..................................................... 20......... charged with the following offence(s):
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

And whereas a plea agreement was on the .......................................... day of
.................................., 20......... concluded between the prosecutor and the Attorney-at-law
for the accused/defendant:

And whereas it was agreed that the accused/defendant shall plead guilty to—
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)

and in consideration that the prosecutor shall take a certain course of action mentioned
hereunder:

And whereas it was agreed that the prosecutor shall take the following course
of action:

*(a) a recommendation to the Court to dismiss other charges; [ ]
*(b) a recommendation to the Court as to a particular sentence; [ ]
*(c) an agreement not to oppose a request by the Attorney-at-law for the

accused for a particular sentence; [ ]
*(d) an agreement that a specific sentence is appropriate for the disposition

of the case. [ ]

Dated this ..................... day of ....................................., 20.........

*[ /] particular course of action to be taken.

(Signed)
Attorney-at-law for Accused/

Defendant

(Signed)
Prosecutor

(Signed)
Accused/Defendant

No.

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
14 Chap. 13:07 and Plea Agreement)

FORM 3

(This Form applies where the accused/defendant is not represented
by an Attorney-at-law)

REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

PLEA AGREEMENT IN THE HIGH COURT/
MAGISTRATE’S COURT

No.
A.B. — The State/Complainant

v
C.D. — The Accused/Defendant

WHEREAS the accused/defendant was on the ......................................................... day of

..................................................... 20......... charged with the following offence(s):
(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)
And whereas the prosecutor informed the accused/defendant that he should be

represented by an Attorney-at-law:
And whereas the accused/defendant informed the prosecutor that he did not wish to

be represented by an Attorney-at-law:
And whereas a plea agreement was on the ................................................... day of

.................................., 20...... concluded between the prosecutor and the accused/defendant:
And whereas it was agreed that the accused/defendant shall plead guilty to—

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

(f)
in consideration that the prosecutor would take a certain course as mentioned hereunder:

And whereas it was agreed that as a result of the accused/defendant pleading guilty
to the said offence(s), the prosecutor shall take the following course of action:

*(a) a recommendation to the Court to dismiss other charges; [ ]
*(b) a recommendation to the Court as to a particular sentence; [ ]

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Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion
and Plea Agreement) Chap. 13:07 15

*(c) an agreement not to oppose a request by the accused for a particular
sentence; [ ]

*(d) an agreement that a specific sentence is appropriate for the disposition
of the case. [ ]

Dated this .................................. day of ............................................................., 20.........

*[ / ] particular course of action to be taken.

CERTIFICATION OF JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

I .........................................................................., Justice of the Peace for the County of

..........................................................................................., hereby certify that the above

plea agreement was signed by the prosecutor .........................................................., and

the Attorney-at-law for the accused/defendant ........................................................, in my

presence on the ..................................... day of .................................................., 20.........

(Signed)
Accused/Defendant

(Signed)
Prosecutor

(name of prosecutor)

(name of Attorney-at-law)

(Signed)
Justice of the Peace

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