Facing a felony sentencing hearing is a significant event in the legal process, bringing forth a mixture of uncertainty and concern about the future. While having numerous questions is natural, the most reliable source of information and guidance is a seasoned California criminal defense attorney.
This blog aims to shed light on what to anticipate at a felony sentencing hearing and how to best prepare for it, bearing in mind that this overview provides basic insights. For detailed advice tailored to your unique situation, contacting Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 is a prudent first step.
Timing of the Sentencing Hearing
According to the California penal code, a felony sentencing hearing is typically scheduled no later than 20 days following a conviction. However, exceptions exist that may extend this period up to an additional ten days, including:
- Contemplation of a motion for a new trial
- Assessments regarding the defendant’s mental health
- Awaiting probation department recommendations
Consequently, the maximum waiting period for sentencing could extend to 30 days.
Custody Status Post-Conviction
Post-conviction, the court has several options regarding your custody status leading up to the sentencing. You may remain in custody, be taken into custody if not already, or continue on bail if applicable. Generally, those out on bail might be required to enter custody upon a felony conviction.
Rights During the Sentencing Hearing
It’s crucial to be aware of your rights during the sentencing process. These rights include:
- Attending the hearing
- Proposing alternative sentences, such as probation
- Legal representation
- Presenting evidence
- Making a statement to the court
Under no circumstances should you attend a felony sentencing hearing without legal representation. Chambers Law Firm ensures your case is presented effectively, potentially influencing a more lenient court decision by highlighting mitigating evidence or testimonials.
Determining the Sentence
Your sentence will be influenced by the nature of your plea. In cases involving a plea bargain, the agreed-upon terms will dictate the sentence. If a guilty verdict was reached at trial, the judge will determine your sentence based on various factors, including eligibility for probation, the crime’s severity, and any prior criminal history. Split sentences, which divide time between incarceration and probation, may also be considered.
Regardless of the felony charge, Chambers Law Firm stands ready to offer expert legal assistance. To discuss your case and explore your options, reach out to us at 714-760-4088 to schedule a consultation. Our commitment is to navigate the complexities of the legal system, advocating for your rights and aiming for the most favorable outcome possible.