There are many goals that a defendant might have for a criminal case. One of these is that they will have to deal with the least serious penalties possible for the case. This is often the goal of a person who knows that they are likely going to be convicted.

The court has to consider several points when issuing a sentence. One of these is the method of resolution for the case. If there is a plea deal, the prosecution probably worked out a sentence with the defendant. The court must consider that, but it doesn’t have to follow it. The court has the discretion to change the sentence.

Whether the case is resolved through a plea deal or a jury trial, there are some points that the court must think about when determining the sentence. These include:

  • The person’s criminal history and the likelihood they will re-offend
  • The circumstances of the crime, including your reason for committing it
  • The impact the crime had on the victim
  • The applicable sentencing guidelines
  • Whether there is a mandatory minimum sentence or not
  • Your role in the crime
  • Your mental state during the incident

You should speak to your attorney about what is likely in your case. Criminal sentences can vary greatly. Incarceration, probation, fines, community service and restitution are all possible. Other options might also be present, and the court has the discretion to do what it feels is necessary in a case.

Typically, people with a criminal history are going to have harsher penalties than those who don’t have one. This should be a primary factor in how you set your defense strategy.