Sentencing Procedure FAQs at The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime, understanding the sentencing process is crucial. Below are some common questions about how sentencing works, answered by The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq.
- Who Decides the Sentence After a Conviction?
- Where Are Punishments for Crimes Stipulated?
- Are Sentences Consistent for Similar Offenses?
- What Factors Influence a Judge’s Sentencing Decision?
- Is It Possible to Request an Alternate Sentence?
Typically, judges carry the responsibility of determining a convicted defendant's punishment. Post-trial, jurors are instructed to refrain from considering potential punishments when deliberating on a defendant’s guilt or innocence. However, in cases involving capital punishment where state law allows, a jury's recommendation might be needed for a judge to impose a death sentence instead of life in prison.
The law that the defendant allegedly violated may state a specific punishment for the infraction. For instance, a statute may designate a misdemeanor and suggest a maximum fine or imprisonment term. If a law does not define a punishment, it could be located in a separate statute that details penalties for that specific crime or a broader set of misdemeanors or felonies. To understand potential penalties upon conviction, consider:
- Consulting with a private defense attorney, like those at The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq., to discuss likely outcomes.
- Seeking advice from a public defender’s office.
- Inquiring with knowledgeable relatives or friends for informal guidance.
While some states have mandatory sentences ensuring identical punishment for specific crimes, others allow judges to weigh various factors. This discretion can result in different sentences for similar offenses based on the defendant’s history, the crime's context, and their level of remorse, among other things.
Judges consider a range of mitigating factors potentially leading to reduced sentences, such as a defendant’s minimal criminal history, being an accessory rather than the principal actor, personal hardship at the time of the crime, and offenses unlikely to cause harm. Conversely, aggravating factors like a history of similar offenses or excessive cruelty can result in harsher penalties.
Certainly. Attorneys can advocate for alternative sentencing options including suspended sentences, probation, restitution, or community service. Additionally, qualifying defendants charged with misdemeanors related to substance use might be eligible for diversion programs.
Understanding the complexities of sentencing can be challenging, but you don't have to navigate it alone. At The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq., our seasoned legal team is ready to provide clear guidance and robust defense strategies. Reach out to us at 303-355-5148 to pursue the best possible outcome for your case.