When does sentencing happen?

In most criminal cases, sentencing usually takes place right after an offender has pled guilty or been found guilty after a trial. In some cases, the judge will not impose a sentence right away, but will instead adjourn the case to a later date for a sentencing hearing.

Adjourning a sentencing may happen for many reasons, and most often happens in more serious cases. A matter is usually adjourned for a sentencing hearing so the offender’s lawyer (or duty counsel) and the Crown can gather information that will help them argue for a certain type of sentence.

For example, a matter may be adjourned so that a letter from the offender’s employer can be obtained, or the Crown can get a victim impact statement from the victim, or a pre‑sentence report (PSR) can be prepared.