Pleas and Sentencing
If the accused pleads guilty or is found guilty, the court will conduct a plea hearing.
At this hearing the prosecution and the defence will present information they want the judge to take into account when deciding on the sentence.
At the plea hearing you may have the opportunity to tell the court, in your own words, about the impact of the crime on you. You do this by making a Victim Impact Statement.
The Victim Impact Statement is one of a number of factors the judge will take into account when sentencing the offender.
After the prosecution has addressed the judge, and any Victim Impact Statements have been read out or given to the judge, the defence will present information to the judge.
The defence may call people to give ‘character’ evidence and/or psychological evidence about the convicted offender. Some of this information may be difficult for you to hear.
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