Many factors affect the defense of a criminal charge, so anyone who is facing these charges must consider carefully what they will do at each stage of the process. One component of the trial that many people might overlook is the sentencing phase. Some might think that they don't have to worry about it because they assume that they will be found not guilty. Even if you think that, it is still a good idea to consider what might come into the picture with sentencing.
There are several factors that are used to determine what sentences defendants face. When the case is complex, there is likely a pre-sentencing report provided with input from several entities, including the prosecutor, the community corrections agency and the defense. This provides an overview of various aspects of what components of sentencing might be important in the case.
The judge might consider any remorse shown, as well as the role the person played in the crime. The defendant's criminal history and emotional state at the time of the alleged crime might also be relevant. Courts can consider what type of injuries or damages the victims of the crime suffered. In some cases, what might have happened because of the crime might be a factor.
Unless there is a mandatory minimum sentence for a conviction, the judge has a wide variety of penalties that can be imposed. These could include community service, fines, pretrial diversions, probation, incarceration or suspended sentences. Sometimes, two or more of these are combined to form the sentence for a defendant. All sentences and factors must be considered when determining the defense strategy for a case.