What happens in a sentencing hearing?

A sentencing hearing will take place only if you are found guilty at a trial or if you agree to plead guilty. The court proceeding is handled by the judge, who will use the recommendations of the prosecutor and your lawyer: sometimes the judge has input from other people such as a probation or DOC officer, the listed victim and people who support you.   In felony cases the Sentencing Guidelines are used to determine your sentencing range.  You always have the right to speak at your sentencing hearing. The judge will consider many things to determine your sentence.

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1. Is my public defender a “real lawyer”?
2. Since you’re paid by the government, the same as prosecutors, aren’t you just working together?
3. Can I call or drop by the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense for some quick legal advice?
4. What is an arraignment?
5. What is a pre-trial hearing?
6. What is a trial readiness hearing?
7. What happens in trial?
8. What happens in a sentencing hearing?
9. How does COVID-19 impact my court hearings?
10. How do I discuss my case with my attorney during COVID-19?
11. What is a bench warrant, and what can I do if I have one?
12. What if I have a prior conviction for possession of controlled substance, aka Violation of Uniformed Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA)?
13. Why hasn’t my attorney gotten my case dropped?
14. What if I forgot my court date?
15. How do I get my record vacated/sealed?
16. If I have a problem with my court-appointed lawyer, how do I complain?
17. What can I do to help with my case?