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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 which you are charged with. For certain offences there may be a minimum sentence. All these will be stated at the end of your charge sheet.


If you are on bail and face the possibility of an imprisonment term (as mentioned in your charge sheet), it is advisable for your bailor to be present during your sentencing. This is because your bailor will need to give his/her 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 yourself 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.


Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

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