If you have questions about sentencing, and need legal help with your past, or future sentencing, we can help. Judges, not juries, determine sentencing for a convicted criminal defendant. It’s common for the judge to tell a jury not to consider what punishment – when determining whether a defendant is guilty or not. Many times a mistrial is done – when it can be shown the jury was considering punishment when determining guilt.
There are some situations where a jury will decide a convicted criminal’s punishment. In capital punishment cases, judges aren’t allowed to impose the death penalty. It’s up to a jury to decide whether a convicted criminal should be sentenced to die. There are some situations where a criminal statute describes what the punishment will be exactly. For example, some states will specify the misdemeanor shall be accompanied by a fine $1000, or imprisonment, or both. There are other laws, which define a crime as a felony or misdemeanor, but the punishment is defined in separate laws. It’s suggested that if you questions about the sentencing of your case, you should speak to our NYC criminal lawyers. If you have prior convictions on your record, the sentence that you get may not be the punishment you get. Judges will frequently enhance your sentence, when you have a convicted criminal record.
In some cases, state and federal laws state mandatory sentences, or mandatory minimum sentences. If a defendant is found guilty of one of those crimes, then judge is legally required to impose a mandatory sentence. The laws are in place which set out the mandatory sentences. Only a few laws are on the books which have mandatory sentences. Judges are allowed to take other factors into consideration when determining the sentence for a defendant. Judges can consider the criminal history of the defendant, the circumstances under which the crime was done, whether the defendant feels remorse about his/her actions.
The defense lawyers you hire can bring a wide array of factors to the judge’s attention. For example, here are some factors your attorney can discuss: your past criminal history (if you’re a first time defender), whether you were the principal antagonist in the crime, what your mental state was at the time, whether anyone was hurt during the commission of the crime.
These are all mitigating factors that can be brought up at the sentencing. We encourage you to speak to our NYC criminal attorneys if you’re facing criminal charges, or have questions about the charges and sentences you face.