Preparing for and attending sentencing hearings in Queensland can be a daunting, stressful and oftentimes intimidating experience for those facing criminal charges.
While preparation will not entirely diminish the stress you may be under, ensuring you are well prepared is essential if you wish to present yourself in the best possible light and strengthen your chances of receiving a fair outcome. Here are 7 essential steps to follow to prepare for your sentence hearing in Queensland.
1. Engage an experienced criminal lawyer
Not only will an experienced criminal lawyer be your guide throughout the entire hearing process, but they will also assist in preparing your case – with the goal of presenting it to the best and most effective degree.
They will also shed light on what you should and should not do during the proceeding, and provide a general understanding of the legal process. I.e. explaining the role of the prosecutor, the defendant, etc.
As well as this, your lawyer could be able to negotiate a plea deal to (potentially) obtain a reduced sentence.
2. Understand your charge(s) and compile all relevant information about your case
Having thorough understanding of the charges that have been brought against you is important. It’s also beneficial to be aware of the evidence that will be presented against you in court. Your lawyer could be able to obtain this information.
Furthermore, relevant documents that benefit your case should be gathered in support of your defence. This could include witness statements, medical records and more. The more supporting evidence and documentation gathered will allow your lawyer to argue your position more effectively and/or mitigate the impact of potential sentencing.
3. Prepare a statement
You may be asked to make a statement at your sentencing hearing. If this is the case, you must take the time to prepare your written statement. Typically a written statement should explain your history, background, the crime in question and why you believe you should receive a lesser or more lenient sentence. The statement must be truthful and accurate. Your criminal lawyer will be able to assist you.
4. Character references
Good deeds or positive contributions to the community could be presented at the hearing in the form of character references. This often includes letters of reference from employers, family members or friends with the aim of presenting you in a positive light. Character references must be written to certain standards and guidelines. Again, your lawyer will be able to assist you in ensuring your character reference meets these guidelines.
5. Dress for success
At the time of your sentence hearing - your appearance and general attire will not go unnoticed. It is important to dress appropriately and professionally, as it can strongly impact the way you are perceived. A put-together appearance will strengthen your case. As a standard, avoid casual or revealing clothing.
6. Arrive on time
Similar to step 5, arriving on time to your sentencing hearing aids in the way you are perceived – particularly by the judge. Being on time shows that you take the matter seriously, and have respect for the court. Ensure you listen carefully and follow all instructions given by the judge.
7. Show your respect
Lastly, during the process of your sentence hearing, you must show respect at all times. This means speaking calmly and concisely, abstaining from argumentative behaviour, remaining focused and avoiding interruptions.
The Bottom Line
Preparing for your sentencing hearing in Queensland should be done with precise planning and attention to detail. Gathering evidence, obtaining character references, preparing statements and setting yourself up for success will be insurmountable if you do not engage a professional criminal lawyer. Receive the best possible outcome for yourself and your future by seeking the guidance of a qualified and experienced criminal lawyer.
OVER 50 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN CRIMINAL LAW
Creevey Horrell Lawyers are a leading Queensland firm in criminal law and misconduct. Our team has more than 50 years of combined experience in Criminal Law matters, with a track record of achieving outstanding results for our clients.
Creevey Horrell Lawyers regularly appears in Magistrate, District and Supreme Courts around Queensland for pleas of guilty and trials.
Contact Creevey Horrell Criminal Lawyers
Based in Brisbane, Roma, Toowoomba and Townsville.