If the accused pleads guilty or is found guilty, the court will conduct a plea hearing.
At this hearing the prosecution and the defence will present information they want the judge to take into account when deciding on the sentence.
At the plea hearing you have the opportunity to tell the court, in your own words, about the impact of the crime on you. You do this by making a Victim Impact Statement.
After the prosecution has addressed the judge, and any Victim Impact Statements have been read out or given to the judge, the defence will present information to the judge.
The defence may call people to give ‘character’ evidence and/or psychological evidence about the convicted offender. Some of this information may be difficult for you to hear.
Victims, witnesses or family members are not required
to attend the plea hearing, but can if they want to. In some circumstances, such as if there are concerns about being in the presence of the accused, arrangements can be put in place for a viewing of the plea via videolink. Please speak to the OPP solicitor if you have such concerns and would like to view the plea from a remote facility via videolink.