Understanding Sentencing Guidelines in Criminal Cases

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

As a defendant in a criminal case, you may be wondering who decides your sentence. The sentencing process can be confusing and overwhelming, but it's important to understand how it works. In this blog post, we'll explain the basics of sentencing guidelines in criminal cases and provide tips for navigating the process.

What are Sentencing Guidelines?

Sentencing guidelines are a set of rules and principles that judges use to determine the appropriate sentence for a criminal defendant. These guidelines take into account the severity of the crime, the defendant's criminal history, and other factors that may impact the sentence.

Who Decides Sentencing?

In most cases, it's the judge who decides the sentence. However, in some states, there may be mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes, which means the judge's hands are tied. In other cases, the prosecutor and defense attorney may negotiate a plea deal that includes a specific sentence.

Factors That Impact Sentencing

As mentioned earlier, the severity of the crime and the defendant's criminal history are two key factors that impact sentencing. Other factors that may be considered include the defendant's age, mental health, and whether or not they have shown remorse for their actions.

Tips for Navigating the Sentencing Process

If you're facing sentencing in a criminal case, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, make sure you have a strong defense attorney who can argue on your behalf. Second, be prepared to present evidence that may mitigate your sentence, such as evidence of good character or evidence that the crime was an isolated incident. Finally, be prepared to accept responsibility for your actions and show remorse.

The sentencing process in criminal cases can be complex, but understanding the basics of sentencing guidelines can help you navigate the process. If you're facing sentencing in a criminal case, it's important to have a strong defense attorney who can advocate on your behalf. At The Law Office of Justin Rosas, we have experience defending clients in criminal cases and can help you navigate the sentencing process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.