How to Write a Letter of Representation to AGC in Singapore

Last updated on February 5, 2021

Man in handcuffs with a paper and pen

If you are being investigated or charged with a criminal offence in Singapore, you may wish to send a letter of representation to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).

While there is no legal reason why you cannot write such a letter yourself, a letter of representation written by a suspect or accused person may not be taken into serious consideration by AGC. Because of this, and because the drafting of a letter of representation involves numerous strategic decisions and requires substantive legal knowledge, such a letter should always be drafted by a lawyer.

This article will cover:

What is a Letter of Representation?

A letter of representation is a letter to the AGC that sets out reasons why they should either not charge you, drop charges against you or seek a particular sentence from the court.

In theory, you can send as many letters of representation as you like, but typically a lawyer would send between 1–3, depending on the strategic considerations which may apply to your case. Such a letter can be sent at any stage of proceedings from the investigation stage to the sentencing stage.

A letter of representation is different from a mitigation plea. A letter of representation is addressed to the AGC and seeks their agreement regarding some aspect of your case.

On the other hand, a mitigation plea is a legal submission addressed to and filed with a sentencing court with the objective of providing the court with the legal and factual bases for the sentence you are seeking, in cases where you have already been found guilty.

What Goes in a Letter of Representation?

Subject reference

A letter of representation, if written by a lawyer, typically opens with a reference to the person being represented in the letter.

If charges have already been brought against that person, the letter may be captioned by reference to the case number.

Outcome being sought

The letter of representation will then usually open with a brief statement that explains what outcome to the case the letter will seek.

The possible outcomes that may be sought include the charges being dropped, stern or conditional warnings being administered or specific sentences being recommended to the court in the event of a guilty plea. These letters are sometimes also marked “without prejudice”.

Reasons for the outcome being sought

The letter should then set out the facts relevant to the case that support the outcome being sought. Depending on the strategic considerations in your case, the letter may refer to:

  • Any evidence that supports the facts upon which you rely to support the outcome being sought. Copies of such evidence may even be attached to the letter, but the decision on whether to attach any evidence to the letter is ultimately a strategic one to be taken by a lawyer, taking into consideration all the circumstances of your case; or
  • The existence of witnesses who will corroborate those facts. These witnesses may even be identified in your letter.

Ideally, the letter of representation should make reference to similar past cases which had resulted in outcomes similar to those you are seeking, and explain how those cases are analogous (i.e. factually similar) to your case.

Your likely next steps

The letter of representation should then briefly set out your likely next steps, depending on whether AGC accedes to your request. These steps could be to claim trial, plead guilty or make some relevant submission to court for example.

Offers (if appropriate)

The letter can, if appropriate, also include offers, with or without an admission of guilt, to do other things such as write an apology and/or pay restitution to a victim, or to commit to voluntary community programmes such as counselling or charitable work.

Reservation of your rights

The letter, if drafted by a lawyer, should conclude with an acknowledgement that your lawyer has advised you on the legal consequences of being untruthful in the letter and a full reservation of your rights.

You may also wish to include a reasonable deadline within which you expect to receive a response, although there is no guarantee the AGC will have any regard to this.

How to Send the Letter of Representation and to Whom

These letters are typically sent in PDF format via a generic online form maintained by the AGC for this purpose.

If your case is at an advanced stage of proceedings however, your lawyer may also send it to a specific prosecutor(s) (or send it to only such specific prosecutor(s)).

What are the Possible Outcomes Upon Sending a Letter of Representation?

If the AGC decides to accede to your request, they may write back to inform you of this and list any conditions for their agreement.

Sometimes, they may send a counter-offer whereby they offer to recommend a specific sentence to the court, or drop one or more charges, if you agree to plead guilty to some or all of the charges, and/or agree to some other request such as paying restitution to the victim.

If the AGC is unable to accede to your request, you may receive a very short template response from the AGC stating that, having carefully considered your representations, they are unable to accede to your request.

Sometimes, no response is sent, and the prosecutor will simply mention orally to the court that AGC received representations and that they will not accede to the request(s) therein.

It should be clear from the above that the drafting of a letter of representation is not a simple matter of sending a short letter asking for leniency or saying you are sorry.

There are many requests to consider and many different permutations of all those requests, some of which may or may not be available or appropriate to you depending on the facts of your case and your own profile.

Only a criminal lawyer is in a position to meaningfully advise you on how to best advance your interests in a criminal investigation or prosecution.

Hence, if you are being investigated for a crime in Singapore, you should always seek legal advice from a criminal lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity.

Arrest and Investigation
  1. How to Write a Letter of Representation to AGC in Singapore
  2. What is Entrapment and is It Legal in Singapore?
  3. Juvenile Crime: What If Your Child is Arrested in Singapore?
  4. Police Investigation Process in Singapore
  5. Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
  6. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  7. Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  8. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  9. Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
  10. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  11. "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
  12. Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
  13. Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
  14. Penalties for Lying to the Authorities in Singapore
  15. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  16. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  17. Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. What is Private Prosecution?
  2. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  3. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
During Criminal Proceedings
  1. What is Acquittal & How Can One Be Acquitted in Singapore?
  2. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  3. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  4. Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
  5. The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
  6. Gag Orders in Singapore: Whose Identity Can be Protected?
  7. Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
After Criminal Proceedings
  1. Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
  2. Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
  3. Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
  4. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  5. Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
  6. Criminal Records in Singapore
  7. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  8. Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
Types of Sentences After Committing an Offence
  1. How Long Is Life Imprisonment in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  2. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  3. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  4. How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
  5. Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
  6. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  7. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
  8. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
  9. Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
Being a Victim
  1. Laws Protecting Informers/Whistleblowers in Singapore
  2. Counterfeit Medicine/Health Products: Redress for Victims in Singapore
  3. Using Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
  4. Compensation for Crime Victims in Singapore: How to Obtain
Offences Against the Human Body
  1. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  2. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore (and Penalties)
  3. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I Be Punished for Trying?
  4. Kidnapping Scam: Penalties & Responding to a ‘Kidnap Call/Text'
Sexual Offences
  1. Rape Laws in Singapore and How Offenders Can Be Punished
  2. Sexual Misconduct in Singapore: Offences and What Victims Can Do
  3. How are Sexual Offenders with Special Needs Penalised?
  4. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  5. Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
  6. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  7. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  8. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
  9. Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
  10. Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
  11. Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
  12. STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
  2. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
  4. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  5. Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
  6. Laws on Procuring Prostitutes and Sexual Services in Singapore
  7. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  8. Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Property Offences
  1. Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
  2. Committing Robbery in Singapore: What are the Penalties?
  3. Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
  4. Vandalism Laws: Penalties for Damaging Property in Singapore
  5. Criminal Trespass in Singapore: What Happens If You’re Caught?
  6. Penalties for Littering and Killer Litter Offences in Singapore
Cybercrime
  1. Penalties for Cheating/Scamming and What Victims Can Do
  2. Penalties for Impersonating Someone and Victim Redress
  3. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  4. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: What is It?
  2. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
  5. Dishonest Assistance and Knowing Receipt: The Case of David Rasif
Road Offences
  1. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  2. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  3. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  4. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  5. Penalties for Dangerous Driving for Singapore Drivers
  6. Fatal Traffic Accidents: Are Drivers Always Punished?
  7. Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  8. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
Animal-Related Offences
  1. Is It Illegal to Feed Stray Animals in Singapore?
  2. Singapore Animal Abuse Offences, Penalties & How to Report
Offences Relating to Public Peace and Good Order
  1. Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore
  2. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  3. Racial Enmity: Sections 298 and 298A Penal Code Explained
  4. Religious Cults in Singapore: Are they Illegal? Penalties & More
  5. Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
Gang and Riot-related Offences
  1. Penalties for Unlawful Assembly and Rioting in Singapore
  2. Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?: Being Recruited and Penalties
  3. Organised Crimes: Penalties/Orders Syndicates Face in Singapore
Marriage-Related Offences
  1. What are Sham Marriages and Are They Illegal in Singapore?
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
  2. Arson and Fire-Related Offences and Their Penalties in Singapore
  3. Laws on Prohibited, Replica and Self-Defence Weapons
  4. Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
  5. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore