Sentencing

Upon conviction, judgment is imposed and the criminal defendant is sentenced.

Generally, a felony is a crime for which the punishment may include prison. A misdemeanor is a crime which does not result in a prison sentence. All crimes which have an unspecified sentence are misdemeanors. California Penal Code 177 and 650.5.

For misdemeanors, sentence is to be imposed in "not less than six hours, nor more than five days" after conviction. California Penal Section 1449. For felonies, sentence is to be imposed within 28 days of conviction. California Penal Section 1191.

These time constraints with respect to imposing sentence are routinely waived by the criminal defendant.

Probation and parole are sometimes confused. Parole refers to the conditional release of a prisoner before the date set for his release from incarceration. Parole may be granted at both the county jail and state prison levels.

For felonies, the Court usually orders a probation report prior to sentence under California Penal Code 1203.10. Probation reports are rarely ordered in misdemeanor cases.

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