What is a sentencing hearing in a criminal case?

5. Prepare your sentencing submissions

Be prepared to give information to the court about:

  • your personal background, including where you were born, your education, work history, and family
  • any that apply to your case
  • court decisions on similar cases which support the you’d like to be given

Also talk about how the sentencing principles should be applied to you. For example:

  • what facts exist to show the court your behaviour won’t be repeated
  • how the sentence you’re proposing sends a message to society that your behaviour isn’t acceptable
  • why you will not repeat the behaviour
  • how you will address your issues to ensure you won’t commit another crime
  • why you feel remorse for what you did

Explain what you plan to do after your sentence is complete, such as:

  • work or volunteer opportunities
  • educational opportunities
  • opportunities for community involvement

Pre-trial custody and release conditions

If you’ve spent time in , you can ask for enhanced credit for time served. If the court agrees, they will give you up to 1.5 days credit for each day you spent in before your sentence. For example, if you spent 2 days in custody before your sentence, you can get a credit of 3 days.

Tell the court how many days you spent in pre- custody, and describe the circumstances. For example, tell the court if you spent your time in custody under , and how many days the lockdown lasted.

Tell the court if you had strict conditions while waiting for your trial. House or a are examples of strict bail conditions. The court may consider reducing your sentence in these situations.

Get your sentence

After hearing submissions from the Crown, and you or your lawyer, the judge will sentence you.

The type of sentence you get depends on:

  • the crime you’ve been found guilty of
  • the circumstances of the crime
  • your personal circumstances
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