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3 things to know about criminal sentences

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

A person who’s facing a criminal charge must ensure they’re doing what they can to set up their defense strategy. For some people, understanding what sentences they’re facing can help them to plan their next steps. 

Determining what sentence you’ll face isn’t always easy. There are several things you should learn more about as you embark on this process. These include:

1. Sentencing guidelines

Some criminal acts have specific sentencing ranges or requirements that are set by the state. Mandatory minimum sentences are present for some. The court can’t go below that sentence, regardless of the circumstances of the crime. Besides those, courts usually have a wide berth of possibilities for sentencing. 

2. Sentence types

There are a host of sentence types that a person can face. Probation, incarceration, fines and community service are some of the more common. Some charges may also have the possibility of alternative sentences. If a person has more than one charge, the judge has to determine if sentences are served consecutively or concurrently. Consecutive sentences run one right after the other. Concurrent sentences run at the same time. 

3. Sentencing factors

Various things go into determining what sentence a person will face. Some of these include previous criminal history, specifics of the crime, remorse and sentencing guidelines. 

Understanding what factors will impact the possible sentences you’re facing is important. It may benefit you to work with someone who’s familiar with the court where your case is being heard. Taking the time to learn about your defense strategy options early in the case may help you to decide how to proceed. 

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