What sentencing means

Sentencing is the stage in the criminal process where the judge decides the punishment you will receive after you are convicted. Conviction happens in either of the following cases:

Range of possible sentences

Your charge sheet will state the maximum sentence for each offence with which you are charged. For certain cases, your offence may also carry a minimum sentence. Both will be stated at the bottom of your charge sheet.


If you are on bail and face the possibility of receiving an imprisonment term (as mentioned in your charge sheet), it is advisable for your bailor to be present at your sentencing. This is because they will need to give their consent if you wish to postpone the start of your imprisonment term.

Sentencing step-by-step

Understand what is involved in the sentencing process.


If the accused is a youth offender, refer to youth arrest overview and process.

Before your sentencing hearing

Prepare and submit your mitigation plea

A mitigation plea is an oral or written statement containing information about you or the circumstances of the crime that may result in a lower sentence. Whether you plead guilty or are found guilty after the trial, you have a right to make a plea in mitigation before sentence is passed.

During your sentencing

Attend your sentencing hearing

The court will hear the prosecution's proposal on the sentence to be imposed and your mitigation plea before pronouncing the appropriate sentence.


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