Understanding Your Sentence

A sentence is the court order setting out the consequences (punishment) of being convicted of a crime. The judge can order many different types of sentences, including fines, community supervision, with or without conditions, and time in custody. The judge applies the law in statutes and other cases to decide on a fair sentence that fits the crime. For more information, see: Sentencing (Adult Accused).

When the judge decides your sentence, they can add additional requirements, like requiring you to register with the sex offender registry or providing DNA or prohibiting you from using firearms or driving. These are just some examples of additional requirements or conditions the judge can include in a sentence.

See Conditions for more information.

Serving Your Sentence

You may be required to serve your sentence in the community (usually under the supervision of a probation officer), in custody or a combination of both. You will serve time in custody in either a provincial correctional centre or federal correctional centre, depending on the length of the term in custody. To learn more, see: Serving Your Sentence.

Types of Sentences

To learn more about the many types of sentences, please explore the following pages in the offender section:


If you have been convicted of an offence, you can ask a higher court to review the decision. This is called an appeal. You can appeal your conviction, sentence or both. Please visit Appeals to learn more.

More Information

For information about youth sentences, visit Youth Sentences (Youth Justice).