Strategic Defense
From A Former Prosecutor

What does the court consider during sentencing?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Some people who are charged with criminal actions know that the chance of them being convicted of those crimes is considerable. Some may decide that they’re going to enter into a plea deal, but others may decide to continue fighting the charges. 

One thing that’s important to all defendants is knowing what possible sentences they’re facing if they’re convicted. It’s usually not possible to know exactly what you’ll receive because there are many factors the court considers when it’s setting a sentence. 

Sentencing factors the court considers

The court is going to look at the recommended sentence range for the offense. In some cases, there’s a mandatory minimum sentence. The court can’t go any easier on the person than that mandatory minimum. 

The criminal history of the defendant is considered. People who have previous convictions for the same charge will likely face a harsher sentence than a first-time offender. The court will also look at patterns of criminal activity. 

The outcome of the crime is considered. This includes whether anyone was physically injured in the crime or if there were any elements of extreme cruelty. Other mitigating factors include special characteristics of the victim. For example, physical violence against a police officer who was on duty will result in harsher sentences than a crime involving a regular civilian. 

Defendants should ensure they understand the possible sentences they’re facing for the charges in the case. Part of a defense strategy may be trying to minimize those penalties in the event that your case ultimately leads to a conviction. It’s always wise to keep your mind open to a multi-layered defense strategy from the start.