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During initial hearing, you will be asked to make a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. Your attorney will advise you as to which plea is most favorable for your situation. Even if you are guilty you may opt to plead not guilty. Some defendant's choose to do this if they feel that prosecutor does not have enough evidence against them to prove their case. If you plead not guilty, you will be given a trial in which it is responsibility of prosecution to prove your guilt. If you plead guilty or no contest, you will not be given a trail, rather you will go straight to a sentencing hearing.
If you are proven not guilty at your trial, you will be released from custody. If you are found guilty, you will be given a sentencing hearing.
A sentencing hearing is a hearing that allows all parties involved in your case to express facts involving your case that may affect your sentence. These parties could include your accuser, yourself or persons who are defending your case.
After hearing judge will consider all evidence presented and then make a decision regarding your sentencing. Your sentencing could include additional jail time, monetary fines, community service or mandatory treatment programs. Depending on severity of your crime, evidence against you and your initial plea, degree of sentencing could vary greatly. For smaller crimes, sentencing may only include a small fine and no jail time.
To insure that all of your rights are protected and that you receive least sentencing possible, it is important that you hire a competent attorney and become knowledgeable about all of your rights.
Jody Ehrhardt writes for Lawyer Vista, a website where you can find a criminal lawyer in your city or state.