A person who’s convicted of a criminal charge will receive a sentence from the court. Unless there’s a plea deal in place, the decision lies in the hands of the judge to determine what sentence applies to the case.
There are several things the court will consider when trying to determine the sentence. Other factors might also apply.
Sentencing guidelines are set by law to ensure that people convicted of crimes have appropriate sentences. By providing a range for sentencing, these laws enable the court to consider other factors that are present in the case. Mandatory minimum sentences apply to some convictions. When these are present, the court can set anything lower than that specific sentence.
Prior criminal convictions
The person’s criminal history is considered, especially if the convictions are the same as the current case. In some cases, the number of previous convictions for the specific charge will change the sentencing guidelines for the charge.
Factors of the crime
The factors of the crime, including injuries to the victim, will come into the picture. The role of the individual convicted will also be factored into the sentence. Any extenuating circumstances can also become important during sentencing.
Determining how to handle your defense strategy is crucial to ensure you’re addressing the charges in the most comfortable manner. Working with someone familiar with your area’s court system can help you learn about the sentencing trends in that specific court. Just be sure to do this as early as possible so you have time to consider each option and evaluate how it may impact your future.