Sentencing Hearings and Probation Reports

Sentencing hearings can be quick ("Time served!") or detailed affairs involving testimony from victims and a presentence (probation) report.

Defendants who enter a plea upon arraignment and receive "time served" have sentencing hearings that barely last a few minutes. But most defendants receive a presentence work-up, in which they are interviewed by the probation department, who prepares a report for the judge. Read about these hearings, the reports, and how they're used by judges.