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Sentencing factors you need to know if you're facing charges

Anyone facing criminal charges has a lot of factors that they need to consider. One of these is the sentence that they might have to deal with if they're convicted or opt to enter into a plea deal. There are specific guidelines that are present for criminal charges, so your attorney is a good source of information if you're facing charges.

Many factors go into the court determining what sentence to hand down. Some of these include:

  • Sentencing guidelines built into the law
  • Recommendations from involved parties
  • Presence of a mandatory minimum sentence
  • The criminal history of the defendant
  • Type of crime, including whether violence was present
  • Harm or injury to the victims
  • Any special status of victims, such as police officers
  • Displays of remorse from the defendant

There are many options that the court has for most crimes. These can include sending the defendant to jail or prison, but there are several other options. The person may face fines, probation, community service or participation in an alternative sentencing program. For example, a person who is charged with possession of drugs might be able to go through Drug Court instead of having to go to prison.

Working closely with your attorney can help you to find out what sentencing options might be possible in your case. For some charges, working on the defense strategy may mean that you try to minimize the penalties that you're facing. This is the case when you're sure that you're going to be convicted or if you plan to utilize a plea deal to resolve the matter.

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