Judgement & Sentencing If the defendant is found guilty by a jury or judge, or pleads guilty or no contest, judgment will be pronounced and sentence imposed at a sentencing hearing. A plea of guilty or no contest results in a finding of guilt by the judge. Your attendance is generally not required at this hearing.
You have the right to make a verbal statement. Prior to that hearing, the defendant may be referred to the Adult Probation Division for them to conduct a study of his background, the crime involved, and the events surrounding his life, in order to make a report and recommendation to the Court.
In conducting this study, a probation officer may contact you. Your cooperation in providing information about the crime, your injuries, and financial loss will be helpful. Providing receipts and other documentation will make restitution easier.
The Victim / Witness Assistance Division can assist you with submitting a "Victim Impact Statement" in most cases involving violent crimes to the Probation Department. This statement may include the social, psychological, physical, and financial impact of the crime upon you. The statement will be taken into consideration by the judge in arriving at a fair sentence. It will also be available to the defense attorney and the defendant.