What factors impact a criminal sentence handed down by the court?

A person who is convicted of a crime will have to go through the sentencing phase of their case. This is when the court lets them know what consequences they face because of the conviction. Contrary to what many people think, there are several factors that come into the picture when the court determines what's appropriate for a specific case.

There are often opportunities for the defense to minimize the penalties. Knowing of potential ramificaions can provide an idea of what they can do to try to combat harsh sentences.

Are there mandatory minimum sentences for the charges?

Some charges have a mandatory minimum sentence. The court can't sentence the person to anything that is less than the specified sentence. In this case, the defense would try to find ways to show the court that the person doesn't deserve anything over the mandatory minimum. Knowing the mandatory minimum associated with a charge can help you to prepare for it.

What type of criminal history is present?

A person's criminal record is a primary factor in sentence determination. Sometimes, the laws specify sentences for subsequent convictions of certain crimes. The court might also consider unrelated criminal history. The court wants to show adults that they shouldn't continue with criminal activities.

What points from the case will play a role?

Crimes that involve victims, such as assaults, might mean that the court has to consider victim impact statements. Other factors, such as the severity of the crime and the way that it affected society also come into the picture. Extenuating factors such as having a public servant as the victim of an attack can also increase the severity of the sentence.

Are there any factors that might put the defendant in a favorable light?

Sometimes, judges can look at external factors when sentencing. Maybe you've really turned your life around since you committed the crime. The court might consider this while determining what punishment is suitable for your specific situation.

It is imperative that you work closely with your defense team to find out what options are available for working on the sentencing hearing. This is a critical component of your defense so don't overlook it once you have been convicted of a crime.

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