Attorney at Law
FOR LAWYERS

Find Sentencing Lawyer

Find Sentencing Lawyer

Sentencing

Once an individual has been declared guilty, there is an additional phase that decides the consequences of that crime. The process of sentencing determines what penalties are assessed for a given crime.

Ask a Lawyer

Ask your own question and get advice from expert attorneys
Ask Question

Feldman Royle Attorneys At Law, PLLC

google-logo
9 years in practice
Crimes and Aggravation, Criminal Appeals, Criminal Defense, Criminal Trials and Juries, Defendant Rights
View Profile

The Piatchek Law Firm, LLC

google-logo
20 years in practice
Adoption, Advance Healthcare Directives, Alimony, At-Fault Divorce, Auto Accidents
View Profile

Boerst Law Office, Inc.

google-logo
15 years in practice
Animal Bites, Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Birth Injury, Brain Injury
View Profile

Scott R. Scherr, P.A., Attorney at Law

google-logo
32 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Crimes and Aggravation, Criminal Appeals, Criminal Defense, Criminal Trials and Juries
View Profile

Law Offices of Greg Lavender, PLLC

google-logo
11 years in practice
Animal Bites, Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Brain Injury, Crimes and Aggravation
View Profile

The Piatchek Law Firm, LLC

google-logo
20 years in practice
Adoption, Advance Healthcare Directives, Alimony, At-Fault Divorce, Auto Accidents
View Profile

Assigning Penalties for Crimes

Sentences are not just arbitrarily handed down at will from judges. Instead, judges follow the sentencing guidelines set out by the federal U.S. Sentencing Commission and existing precedent. The judge will assign a sentence that is determinate or indeterminate and is impacted by mandatory minimum sentencing as well as any mitigating or enhancing factors that impact the sentence.

Determinate Sentencing

Determinate sentences hand down a set penalty to a defendant. Examples of determinate sentences are “5 years in jail.” This does not preclude the defendant from reducing their sentence through behavioral credits during their time in prison.

Indeterminate Sentencing

Indeterminate sentencing sets a minimum period for which the defendant must serve before the defendant can qualify for parole. An example of an indeterminate sentence is “25 to life.” As with determinate sentences, an individual given an indeterminate sentence can qualify for behavioral credits to reduce their time served.

Minimum Sentencing

Certain crimes have a mandatory minimum sentence associated with them. Examples of mandatory minimum related crimes include drug crimes, identity theft, sexual abuse, and child pornography. These minimum sentences can range from as little as 2 years to as many as 15 years.

Adjusting Factors in a Sentence

There are a number of factors that can both increase or decrease the sentence an individual receives. One example of a factor that affects sentencing is criminal history. If an individual has no criminal record, then the sentence may be reduced while an individual with a criminal record may face additional penalties during sentencing. Similarly, if the crime was committed with a weapon or violently, that may enhance the penalties assessed to the defendant.

Giving You The Advocacy You Deserve

If you have been accused of a crime and need an effective criminal defense, you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A private defense attorney is able to focus completely on your case and devote far more attention to your case than a public defender would be able to.

In order to achieve this best outcome, however, you will need an attorney who has the expertise and resources to take your case all the way. That’s why you should contact Attorney at Law. By partnering with AAL, you will be able to avoid slogging through the quagmire of unscrupulous lawyers looking to exploit your case.

At AAL, we only partner with the best firms in your area, helping you find the best attorney for your case. Don’t wait, contact AAL today to be matched with skilled and experienced attorneys in your area who practice criminal law.

Contact AttorneyAtLaw.com

Are you looking for an attorney? Do you have questions about a legal case you are facing? Contact us now and we will put you in touch with a lawyer for free.

Sentencing Frequently Asked Questions

1. What factors are considered when determining the sentence for a convicted individual?

In general, sentences are handed down based on two factors: the sentencing guidelines, and existing precedent. The guidelines are created and updated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission and measure a variety of factors to create recommended sentencing brackets that judges may then consider. The second factor that impacts the sentence a defendant receives is the precedent established by previous sentencing by other relevant courts. If a defendant has similar circumstances to another case in the same court, then the defendant’s sentence will be impacted by this similar case.

2. What is the difference between determinate and indeterminate sentencing?

Determinate sentencing gives the defendant a set amount of time in prison. For example, a determinate sentence would be 5 years of jail time. By contrast indeterminate sentencing hands down a range of time such as “25 to life.” Defendants sentenced to an indeterminate period must serve the minimum period of time but after that period a parole board will evaluate if the defendant should be released. Both determinate and indeterminate sentences can be reduced by mitigating factors such as good behavior or work release.

3. Can the judge consider mitigating factors during the sentencing process?

The sentencing guidelines are only the start of a judge’s ability to determine what penalties should apply to a defendant. Within the sentencing guidelines are a number of mitigating factors that can reduce the recommended sentence a defendant receives such as a lack of a criminal record.

4. Are there any mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes?

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, there are a few categories of crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences. These categories include drug offenses, identity theft offenses, and sex abuse offenses. 

5. What options do individuals have for appealing their sentence?

If a defendant feels that their sentence was unfairly handed down, then they may appeal their sentence. In order to qualify for an appeal, it must be demonstrated that in some way that the judge misapplied or ignored the sentencing guidelines.

Attorney At Law is changing how clients connect with lawyers. By providing an innovative platform to lawyers who want to expand their practice’s reach, AAL is bringing law practices into the future.
6142 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, California 92009
Some of the content of this website may be considered attorney advertising under the rules of certain jurisdictions. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
crossmenuchevron-upchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram