6 Factors That Can Affect Your Sentencing
Before you are sentenced for a crime, you must first plead guilty or be convicted by a judge or jury of the crime for which you were charged. The judge will then determine the appropriate sentence that you will receive as punishment for the crime for which you have been convicted.
What follows here is a brief overview of 6 factors that can affect your sentencing.
Factors Affecting Your Sentencing
In cases involving minor misdemeanors or less serious offenses, the judge will often impose sentencing immediately after your conviction or guilty plea. In more serious and complicated criminal cases, the judge may consider input from the prosecutor, your criminal defense lawyer or your probation officer before deciding upon an appropriate sentence.
In deciding on an appropriate sentence for the crime for which you have been convicted or plead guilty, the judge will consider a variety of aggravating or mitigating factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Whether you were an accessory to the crime or the main offender
- Your criminal history or lack thereof
- Whether or not your judgment was impaired at the time the offense was committed
- The nature of the crime, how it was committed, and the impact it had on the victims
- Your socioeconomic circumstances
- Your expression of regret or remorse
Legal Statutes and Mandatory Maximum/Minimum Sentencing Requirement
In addition to the factors listed above, the sentence you will receive for your criminal offense may be affected by certain federal and state guidelines that specify the range within which your sentence must be determined.
For example, a criminal statute may specify that a particular crime is punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and/or up to five years in prison. The judge then has the discretion to decide the severity of your sentence within those limits.
Federal and state laws may also specify mandatory minimum and maximum sentences for certain crimes with which a judge is obliged to comply. For instance, if a particular crime carries a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence, the judge, in most cases, will be powerless to sentence you to less than the minimum of five years required by the law.
In most cases, the defendant is sentenced by the judge who presides over the case with respect to both state and federal statutory maximum and minimum sentencing requirements, as well any aggravating or mitigating factors. For more precise information on factors that can affect the sentence you receive for a crime for which you or a loved one has been charged or convicted, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
A dedicated criminal defense lawyer will argue aggressively for the lightest sentence possible for your criminal conviction. The criminal defense lawyers at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices can evaluate your particular circumstances to determine the best defense needed to achieve the most desirable results possible. Call 505-375-4767 to speak to us, or contact us online for a free case evaluation.