When you are found guilty of committing a crime, the next step will be to determine what kind of sentence you will receive. If you are not working with an attorney, you may be stressing out about the unknown, since you have no idea what you can expect. There is not a specific punishment related to a specific crime, as the judge has some leeway to decide on your sentence. Here are 4 factors that will play into what your sentence will be.
Previous Criminal Record
A judge will take into consideration any previous criminal history that you may or may not have. First offenders are often treated differently than somebody that is a repeat offender, and may receive a lighter sentence. If you are a repeat offender, your list of previous convictions will definitely factor into the sentence. Non-violent crimes, such as petty larceny, could potentially increase your sentence a little bit. On the other hand, a history of violent crimes may result in a harsh sentence from the judge.
A judge may consider personal stress that you were going through when you committed the crime. This can include the death of somebody close to you or recently losing your job. Those factors are not an excuse, but the overall nature of your crime could cause them to be taken into consideration.
If you are able to demonstrate that you have remorse for your committed crime, the judge may give you a reduced sentence in return. A judge can also assign an alternative sentence, such a community service or seeking counseling.
Attorney and Victim Statements
Your state may allow for the victim of your crime to speak prior to your sentencing. What they say can have a major impact on how the judge decides on your sentence. The victim can state if they want the judge to impose leniency on your sentence if they honestly feel that way, and the judge can respond to the victim's plea in your favor.
Your attorney will also be able to speak prior to sentencing, explaining why the sentence should be lenient. Remember that the prosecution will have the same right, and can defend a harsh sentence to the judge if they feel one is necessary.
While many factors of sentencing are out of your hands, it helps to understand what factors play into it. Hopefully, you will not have to face sentencing if you work with an attorney that can help clear your name of all charges against you. If you're looking for an attorney, visit Scott L. Kramer Law Office.Share
24 September 2015
Until marijuana is legalized in every state, there will be courtrooms filled with those who are deemed criminals for possessing and using it. If you have been charged with the possession and use of marijuana, you need an attorney. Having gone through this with my son, I know that the courts are not pleased with these charges and things don't always turn out well. This blog will show you several examples of what can happen if you go to court for criminal charges without having an attorney working on your side to protect your rights and reduce the consequences as much as possible.