SENTENCING IN WA
WHAT IS A SENTENCING HEARING
Once your case has been to trial and if you’ve been found guilty or pleaded guilty, the next step is for the court to decide on a penalty and usually sets a date for a sentencing hearing.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR SENTENCING HEARING
During the sentencing hearing the prosecution and the defence have the opportunity to make a submission to the Sentencing Judge or Magistrate highlighting the factors that should be taken into account when determining the appropriate penalty.
Often both parties will refer to sentences handed down in previous cases with similar offences and circumstances. This helps to support their view of what the appropriate penalty should be, within the framework set out by parliament.
The sentencing Judge or Magistrate will consider both submissions and state their decision immediately or adjourn if they need time to think about their decision. The Judge or Magistrate will summarise the factors that they took into account to come to their decision and then hand down the sentence.
The penalties that sentencing courts in Western Australia can enforce is determined by various laws, including the Sentencing Act WA. There is a range of penalties, each designed to fit the severity of the crime committed.
That’s why the defence sentencing submission is so important; it’s the last opportunity to get the best possible outcome.