criminal court records

Sentencing

If a person enters a plea bargain or is convicted by a jury, the judge then will schedule a sentencing hearing, which will be held within 20 days of a conviction in felony cases. In the interim, a probation report will be prepared on the defendant to aid the judge in sentencing.

For sentencing, the judge might:

  • sentence the person to state prison (in a felony case)
  • sentence the person to county jail (a less severe punishment than state prison and common in misdemeanor cases)
  • sentence the person to jail or prison time, but suspend the sentence and put the person on probation (in which case if the person violates the terms of the probation the original jail/prison sentence then can be imposed)
  • impose a fine or order restitution
  • order the person into a rehabilitation program, such as in a drug case.

If prison or jail time is imposed, the person will get credit for time already served in custody during the criminal proceeding.

A transcript of the hearing at which the judge imposes the sentence will be filed in the court record.

A document describing the formal sentence also will be filed. This details the sentence the defendant received - county jail time, state prison time, suspended sentence, probation, etc. - as well as any credit for time served.

Sample Sentencing Hearing Transcripts