SENTENCING. If you have been convicted of a crime, the judge will then hold a sentencing hearing. If you pled guilty under the terms of a plea agreement, The Judge will likely sentence you at the plea hearing and the sentence will be the same as what was in your agreement with the prosecutor.
Some types of crimes require that the jury in your case makes decisions about certain sentencing factors. If this is the case, then this part of your “sentencing” process will happen immediately after your jury trial, almost like a second or third trial. The jury will not decide your actual sentence, but will just decide if certain sentencing enhancements can be used in deciding your sentence.
In some cases, even after a trial has occurred, the Judge might proceed with an immediate sentencing hearing, and allow you and the State to present evidence about what a fair sentence would be for the crimes you are convicted of committing.
In other cases, this sentencing hearing will be delayed to a future date, usually no more than 30 days after you are convicted. The Court might require that you meet with an investigator from the probation department before the sentencing hearing so that they can prepare a “presentence investigation report”. This is a comprehensive report on you, your family background, personal background, finances, religious affiliations, work history, history of substance abuse, prior criminal history, and other factors that are important for the Judge to know and consider in deciding your sentence. You and your lawyer will be given a copy of this report before the sentencing hearing, and so will the Judge and the prosecutor. You can also present other evidence or evidence that challenges this report when you have your sentencing hearing.