Sentencing Sherpa’s tips for sentencing, what not to do…
#1 Do not blame others, substances or things: No one and/or no substance is responsible for being where you are other than you. You did something or made some choice that resulted in whatever circumstances became criminal charges. To be clear, this has absolutely nothing to guilt or innocence. It does have everything to do with being accountable for your life.
#2 Do not whine or complain: Whining doesn’t work with parents and it certainly doesn’t work with judges… they do not want to hear you complain, especially when it involves #1.
#3 Do not be late or unprepared: Sentencing is a serious matter. This is your life and the cost in terms money, time, and resources should be taken seriously. Because it is your money, time, and resources that are at risk. Failure in this area often leads to #2 and #1.
#4 Do not display anger or frustration: No matter what the outcome, do not display anger or frustration with the court. Doing so will only provide another reason for the judge to impose a harsh sentence or justification for the sentence just imposed. Emotional outbursts will only have a negative impact and will not serve you in any capacity.
#5 Do not be arrogant or challenge the judge’s authority: Showing up for sentencing with an “attitude” is not only disrespectful, it will only turn out badly. Often, it is a prelude to #4.
Generally speaking, it is difficult to persuade the judge to do something other than what he or she has decided prior to the sentencing hearing. The exception is when these rules are violated. Which almost always results in a less favorable sentencing outcome. For this reason it is advisable to spend time with your sentencing consultant before the sentencing hearing to review these rules and to prepare for the hearing.