If you have chosen to plead guilty in an Alberta criminal case, that is not the end of your legal obligations and opportunities to ensure that you are treated fairly. The next step in the process requires scheduling a sentencing date in front of a judge of your lawyer's choosing.
Despite choosing to plead guilty, you will still need a lawyer's assistance. Our laws are there not to punish people for wrongdoing, they are there to ensure that every individual is treated fairly. A skilled criminal lawyer can assure that you receive proper consideration under the law and that any sentence meted out is in proportion to the crime.
In most cases, scheduling a date for sentencing is quicker than scheduling one for a trial. This is because sentencing takes less time than a trial. A trial requires lining up the schedules of police and witnesses while a sentencing does not.
In some cases, your court disposition may require two separate court dates. This happens when the Judge orders background reports on your behalf. There are three types of reports your Judge can order:
- A Pre-Sentence Report: This report is prepared by a Probation Office. This outlines your life and history. This tool is helpful to Judges as it allows them to better understand the person they are sentencing.
- A Forensic Psychologist Report: This report is used in cases where an individual suffers from a psychological or psychiatric condition that should be taken into account.
- A "Gladue" Report: This report is used in court dispositions that involve aboriginal offenders. It includes details about their aboriginal background.
If any of these reports is ordered, it may take months to repair. In these cases, you will need a second sentencing hearing before an Alberta court.
After a guilty plea is entered and all reports have been prepared and delivered, the Judge will impose a sentence. The sentence begins immediately after it has been imposed.
If you are charged with a crime and must appear before a Judge in the Calgary area, we will be with you throughout the process. We ensure that the right reports are ordered and that your full circumstances are understood. Whether you began your case with us or whether you have come to us after your case is already in motion, we are passionate about protecting your rights. With our help, you can avoid excessive punishments and ensure that your dealings with the legal system are fair and equitable.