Although it may be assumed that the sentencing phase of a court trial means that the subject was found guilty, sentencing also takes place when a plea bargain has been met with the prosecutors. The sentencing phase determines several factors that will determine the fate of the defendant.
Depending on the nature of the crime, the courts will determine the accused's incarceration, fines, probation, restitution, community service, and for drug or alcohol cases, possibly rehabilitation.
There are several factors that are taken into consideration during the sentencing phase. This includes but is not limited to the severity of the crime and its impact on victims, whether injuries or in murder and manslaughter cases, death.
They may also consider the history of the defendant, and whether this was a first offense or if the defendant has a history of arrests or convictions. They will also consider personal issues of the defendant such as his or her social and economic circumstances. Lastly, they will also consider the defendant's feelings about the crime, such as remorse or regret.
Having a strong criminal defense team will help you wade through the treacherous waters of a criminal trial. As stated above, a conviction is the worst outcome, but a plea negotiation may be made with the prosecutor to lessen the penalties that the defendant is facing, and could make a huge difference in the outcome and future of the defendant's life. It is very important that a defendant consider all these factors and make every effort to assure the best possible outcome during the trial.
Source: findlaw.com, "Sentencing: Overview," Accessed Jan. 5, 2017