Looking to file an appeal against conviction and sentence? Trust the best federal appeal lawyers when you consult with The Law Offices of Seth Kretzer. We’ll guide you through the process from start to finish.
What Is a Sentencing Hearing?
A defendant’s sentencing hearing represents the final step in criminal prosecution. It differs from the trial itself, in that the judge is the only one who decides the official sentence. However, one does have a bit of assistance in the form of a pre-sentencing letter to the judge, which is prepared by a probation officer after an investigation.
The judge is responsible for giving the sentence length and announcing whether the defendant will be facing probation or imprisonment.
Appealing a criminal sentence can be stressful if you don’t know what to expect. Having an experienced and trusted federal criminal appeals attorney in your corner can be very helpful. Look to the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer for more help.
What Happens at a Sentencing Hearing?
The defendant, defense counsel, and district attorney will be in attendance during the sentencing hearing. The flow of the hearing is very similar to that of the trial. The state addresses the court initially, and then the district attorney speaks to the judge, highlighting evidence culled from the trial and sentencing report. Finally, the district attorney makes an argument for the sentence that the state has deemed fitting.
Then, the defense addresses the court, highlighting their own evidence that supports the defendant’s proposed sentence. Following that, if there’s a victim in the case, either the family of that victim or the actual victim will be allowed the chance to speak to the court.
Finally, the defendant will be given a chance to speak the last word. This may be the first, last, and essentially the only time a defendant speaks in open court. It’s different than testifying when at trial. This time, there is no advantage to waiving the opportunity.
When the defendant is finished speaking, the judge pronounces the sentence. In general, this happens directly after the presentations or following a brief recess. The judge may opt for a day or two to determine the sentence in more extensive and complex cases. However, this is extremely rare.
If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be interested in appealing a sentence in federal court. Attorneys specializing in appeals will be able to look at your specific case, analyze it, and explain whether bail is possible and how you may achieve it.
If you are thinking about appealing a criminal sentence and would like to speak to our knowledgeable and caring staff, contact the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer today. We’re here for you.
How Long from Plea to Sentencing?
With minor misdemeanors, the judge will usually sentence immediately following the defendant’s plea: guilty, no contest, or found guilty after the trial. However, when substantial incarceration is on the line, the judge may take a few days or even weeks to impose the exact sentence. This would occur at a different scheduled hearing.
Most of the time, the sentencing takes a few moments. This is certainly likely if the judge is officially going with the agreed-upon sentence in the plea negotiations. However, it would be misleading to say it’s always a short-lived process. After all, the judge does possess the legal authority to order longer terms of imprisonment.
What Is a Sentence Review Hearing?
At some point, the court will set a sentence review hearing to decide whether the conditions of the sentence have been met with compliance. Unless a defendant is certain that they have met all court orders, they should not make an appearance at this hearing without contacting a sentencing and appeals lawyer.
What Happens After Sentencing?
When do you go to jail after sentencing? And how long does it take to appeal a sentence? If court case sentences are for imprisonment, defendants are taken into custody to wait for their transportation to prison. So, to answer a popular question – when do you report to jail after sentencing? – immediately.
If the federal sentencing hearing was for treatment or probation, a defendant would be required to schedule and make arrangements with proper officials and entities for enrollment in a particular program(s) and approved supervision.
Partnering with the Right Attorney for Superior Case Outcomes
If you or a loved one is facing a federal crime, don’t begin the federal court sentencing procedure alone. You need an experienced attorney who will explain the process from beginning to end—what to do if you’ve been convicted, dealing with unjust sentencing cases, how to appeal a sentence, and more.
Contact the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer today for more help.