People who are facing criminal charges often want to know what type of sentence they’ll face, but this isn’t always easy to determine. There are several factors that can impact sentencing.
The judge presiding over the case determines a sentence if a person is convicted. Defendants who want to have a say in what sentence they will face and who acknowledge they broke the law should consider trying to work out a plea deal.
Primary factors considered in sentencing
One of the primary factors that judges must consider is the sentencing guidelines for the charge the person was convicted of. This may include a range of sentences. In some cases, there are mandatory minimum sentences they must comply with. They can’t go below the mandatory minimum.
A person’s criminal history also matters. This is especially true if the previous convictions were for the same crime as the current case. In some cases, subsequent convictions for the same charge have enhanced penalties. The defendant’s role in the crime is also a factor. Typically, main participants will have harsher sentences than accessories.
The circumstances of the crime are also factored into the sentence. Crimes particularly cruel or involving victims who are public servants or vulnerable individuals may lead to harsher sentences. It’s also possible that a defendant’s remorse about the crime may also be considered when a sentence is being set.
Ultimately, you must take steps to protect your interests. Working with someone familiar with these matters is crucial so you can learn your options and find out how they may impact your future. Just don’t wait too long because a rushed defense might miss out on critical points.