What to Expect During Sentencing
April 10, 2023
In Texas, a person arrested and charged with an offense must go through the criminal court process to determine their face. One vital aspect of the criminal court process for defendants who plead guilty, no contest, or are found guilty at trial is the sentencing hearing. At the sentencing hearing, the presiding judge will listen to arguments from both attorneys, the victim, the defendant, evaluate the presentence report, and issue a fitting sentence or penalty for the offense committed.
Attorney Mekisha Jane Walker gives reliable representation and clear legal counsel to clients in their criminal cases. As a strategic Texas criminal defense attorney, she can investigate every aspect of your case and educate you about the criminal court process and what to expect during the sentencing hearing. Also, Attorney Mekisha Jane Walker will fight for your legal rights and help you achieve a lenient penalty. The firm proudly serves clients across Houston, Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston, and Brazoria counties, Texas.
When Does Sentencing Occur?
A sentence is the punishment or legal consequences that a judge imposes on a defendant who pleads guilty, no contest, or has been found guilty after trial. In misdemeanor cases where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, sentencing occurs immediately.
Also, if there is a sentence agreed upon by the defendant in a plea bargain, sentencing will take place immediately. However, if the defendant has been convicted at trial and there is the prospect of lengthy imprisonment, a new date will be scheduled for sentencing or a sentencing hearing. This may be a few days, weeks, or months after the offender has been found guilty.
What Happens During Sentencing?
At the sentencing hearing, the judge will receive assistance and guidance from different sources to determine the right sentence for the defendant. Also, the judge will hear arguments from both the defense counsel and prosecutor and review the presentence report submitted by the probation department.
In some unique situations, the judge will also consider the oral statements made by the defendant and victim in open court. Other factors, such as aggravating or mitigating factors in the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, the available evidence, and the seriousness of the crime, will be taken into consideration by the judge to determine whether to issue a harsh or lighter sentence.
How is the Sentence Determined?
Additionally, issuing a sentence requires the judge to follow the state’s sentencing guidelines for the offense in question. Once the judge evaluates the presentence report and listens to the victim, the defendant, and both lawyers, they will impose a sentence within the limits prescribed under the law.
If an offender has no criminal record and shows remorse, they may possibly receive a lenient sentence. Conversely, if the defendant is a habitual offender or has a prior criminal history, the judge may likely impose the maximum possible sentence.
Protect Your Future With an Attorney’s Support
According to statistics from the Texas Crime Report, there were over 1 million (1,006,887) reported criminal incidents statewide in 2021. If you or someone you know has recently been arrested and charged with a crime, hiring an aggressive and highly-skilled criminal defense attorney is crucial for detailed guidance and to help build your best defenses.
Attorney Mekisha Jane Walker has the expertise and resources to defend and represent clients facing criminal charges. Using her broad legal understanding, she can help you navigate the Texas criminal justice system and represent you intelligently at every phase of the court process. In addition, Mekisha Jane Walker will be there to protect your legal rights, help negotiate a favorable plea bargain, or explore the possibility of alternative sentencing.
Contact Walker Law Office today to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Mekisha Jane Walker has the resources and strong representation you need in your case. The firm proudly serves clients across Houston, Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston, and Brazoria counties, Texas.