Change in plea

On this page:

(show below)(hide below)

    Payment rules

    Preparation - summary matters

    If an extension of aid has been issued to proceed to trial in the magistrates or childrens court the preparation component of the trial grant is claimable, if prior to submitting the extension of aid request the practitioner:

    • had signed instructions to proceed to trial, and
    • the client has not indicated that they intended to plead guilty in relation to the charges, and
    • the prosecution had not indicated their intention to withdraw the charges.

    Preparation - non-summary matters

    Where aid is granted for trial but the matter is disposed of by plea or by nolle prosequi, the practitioner and counsel are entitled to be paid the trial preparation fee only if the matter has been substantially prepared for trial.

    Adjourned trials and counsel

    Where a matter is adjourned on the day of the trial, or the business day prior, provided counsel appears at the adjournment then they are entitled to be paid the court time fee.

    Court time

    When aid is granted for trial, but the matter is disposed of by a plea or by a nolle prosequi the following rules apply:


    • may claim only half a day of court time unless the court time exceed 3 hours if the matter proceeds to sentence on the day of trial.


    • may claim the first day of trial, in the following circumstances:
      • the plea or nolle is entered on the day of trial
      • the instructions to dispose of the matter by plea was received no more than two working days before the day of trial
      • the matter is de-listed either upon the indication of the crown's intention to enter a nolle or a nolle being entered no more than two working days before the date of trial.

    Audit requirements

    File notes or notification from prosecution documenting when the practitioner became aware the matter would not proceed to trial or signed instructions from the client relating to a change of plea must be retained on the file.

    Last updated 8 July 2016