California sentencing takes place under something known as Determinate Sentencing Law (DSL). DSL covers sentencing guidelines for those incarcerated, mandatory minimum sentences, and enhanced sentences depending on the crime. Many offenders will find themselves sentenced under DSL, where they will be sentenced for a specific amount of time. There are many other things you must know about California sentencing hearings and what these laws could mean for you, and what to expect in your own case.
The judge will impose a sentence for you after you enter a guilty plea to a criminal charge, or are convicted of at least one charge by a judge or jury. A sentencing hearing takes place for the defense and prosecution to be heard as to what they believe is an appropriate penalty for the crime. The sentencing hearing must take place in a certain amount of time. For misdemeanor cases, this is not less than six hours or five days from a guilty plea. For felony sentences, this must be scheduled within 20 days of the guilty verdict or plea.
You have many rights at a sentencing hearing. You have the right to be present for your sentencing, the right to be represented by your attorney, the right to present your own evidence, and the right to propose an alternative sentence for your crime. However, you must remember that you do not have the right to confront or cross-examine witnesses during your case.
How Long the Process Takes
Many people wonder how long their sentencing hearing will be. When it comes to sentencing, you should only expect this portion to take a few minutes up to an hour. Even the most serious of felony cases can wrap up quickly when a plea bargain is taking place. You should only expect a longer hearing in a very serious case where you may be ordered to a long period of imprisonment. In any case, you should speak to your attorney about what to expect from these cases and what will benefit you. At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we will help you understand your case and options. Call us now.