A person who is convicted of a crime will have to deal with the punishments that are handed down in the case. While many people think that the jury will determine the sentence, there are actually only very few situations in which the jurors make the determination. In the vast majority of cases, the judge is the one who makes the sentencing decision.
Judges usually have a variety of options when they determine a sentence. There are guidelines that the judges use to help them to choose what is most appropriate. Typically, criminal statutes will have a specific range of penalties to consider, and there might be multiple types of sentences possible.
One instance in which the judge doesn't have as much discretion is when there is a mandatory minimum sentence for a charge. In this case, the sentence will have to be equal to or greater than the minimum.
The judge will consider many factors when trying to determine what sentence to issue. If the person has a criminal history, that will come into the picture. The circumstances of the case, such as the effect on the victim can also play a role in what sentence will be handed down.
It is imperative that you explore what sentencing options might be present in your case. This gives you an idea of what you are facing, which might affect how you present your defense strategy. It also lets you know what you might need to prepare for if you are aware that there is a chance you will face a conviction.