what to expect before, during and after your sentencing hearing
Youth AYC Members
Two Anchorage Youth Court (AYC) defense attorneys represent you in court. The job of these attorneys is to tell your side of the story during the sentencing hearing.
Two AYC prosecution attorneys tell the court what the authorities believe you did.
Three AYC judges will decide your sentence. They use the information provided by the defense and prosecution to come up with a fair sentence for you.
The clerk records the sentencing hearing. The bailiff tells everyone to stand when the judges enter the courtroom and escorts you to the AYC office after court is over.
Adult AYC Staff
The Peer Navigator is in charge of helping you complete your sentence.
The Legal Advisor answers any legal questions that the attorneys or judges may have.
What do I need to know about arriving for court?
Arrive at the AYC office at 303 K Street, in the basement of the Boney Courthouse.
You need to arrive 30 minutes before court. Plan ahead - parking is scarce and expensive. If you're going to take the bus, you should figure out the route the day before.
Can my friends or family attend my sentencing hearing?
Parents or guardians are encouraged but not required to attend. Siblings may attend with your permission. Friends are not allowed in court.
Do I get to speak with my defense attorneys before court?
One of your defense attorneys will call you one to two weeks before the date of your sentencing hearing. The call will last 30 minutes or so. During this call, your defense attorney will tell you when and where court is, explain your charges, tell you what will happen during court, and conduct a brief interview for background information that they will present during court.
When you arrive at the AYC office at 303 K Street on the day of court, both of your defense attorneys will meet you there. Your attorneys will explain the sentence they are recommending for you and answer any questions you may have about the sentencing hearing.
Do I get to tell my side of the story during court?
You can bring reference letters for the judges to consider, preferably written by an unrelated adult. The letters can be addressed "To Whom It May Concern" as if for a job application, to preserve confidentiality.
If there is information about your case that the defense attorneys don't know, (for example, if an older friend pressured you to shoplift, or if you fought someone because they were spreading rumors about you), you should tell them. They will tell the judges this information during the sentencing hearing.
If there is any sensitive information about you or your family that you don't want anyone but the judges to hear, your defense attorney will approach the judges and whisper this information to them. Your attorney will always ask you for permission to share any personal information with the court.
During the sentencing hearing, the judges will ask you if you'd like to address the court on your own behalf. This is your chance to tell the judges anything you want them to know.
What do I wear to court?
Dress professionally if you can. Please avoid wearing jeans, t-shirts or sweats. If you do not have professional clothes, AYC can lend you an outfit to wear during your hearing.
How long does court last?
Court lasts between 45 minutes to an hour.
The defense attorneys present some background information about you during the sentencing hearing. This information includes your hobbies, favorite classes, job, plans for the future, achievements, any consequences you've received at home for this incident, what you've learned from this incident, and anything else you'd like the judges to know about you.
Your defense attorneys will interview you over the phone or in-person at the AYC office before court to get this information.
The defense and prosecution attorneys each present a sentencing recommendation in court. The sentencing recommendation tells the judges what the attorneys believe your sentence should be.
The defense attorneys' sentencing recommendation contains only mitigating factors (factors that make the crime less serious). The prosecution attorneys' sentencing recommendation contains both mitigating factors and aggravating factors (factors that make the crime more serious).
Sentencing recommendations consist of both mandatory and optional components. The mandatory components are community work service hours and an essay. The optional components include educational classes, monetary restitution, and apology letters to the victim. Community work service hours are suspended from your sentence upon completion of optional sentencing components.
The defense typically recommends a lighter sentence, and the prosecution typically recommends a harsher one.
The number of community work service hours, length of the essay, optional parts of the sentence, and number of hours suspended upon completion of optional parts of the sentence are all determined by the judges. The judges consider the aggravating and mitigating factors to decide your sentence. They may accept all, some, or none of the factors brought up in court. This means that your final sentence may look very different from the recommendations the attorneys present.
Monday - Thursday
10am - 5pm
Main line: 907.274.5986 907.272.0491 Volunteer Coordinator cell:
AYC ED, Alysyn Thibault:
838 West 4th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
AYC ED: firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Advisor: email@example.com