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Know some common types of criminal justice sentences

Facing a criminal charge is difficult, but when you know that a conviction is likely, the difficulties increase. You are probably thinking about what you will have to deal with once the judge hands down the sentence. This isn’t always something that is easy to determine, but knowing about some of the possibilities might help you out as you make your plans for the sentencing phase.

In most cases, the judge has a wide berth to decide what sentences will be handed down. Several factors, including the sentencing recommendations for a crime and the criminal history of the defendant are considered when the judge is determining the sentence.

One option for sentencing is probation. This option lets the person avoid spending time in prison as long as the person successfully completes the terms of probation. If the person doesn’t comply with the terms, time in prison and more criminal charges are possible.

Prison is another possibility for a sentence. When there are multiple convictions, each one can carry a period of incarceration. As you can imagine, these can add up considerably, but only if the judge says they are to be served consecutively. If the judge orders them to be served concurrently, the person would actually only serve the longest sentence. All of the other sentences are served at the same time as that longest sentence.

In some cases, sentences are deemed suspended. This means that as long as the person stays out of trouble and meets all applicable conditions that they won’t serve the suspended sentence.

Other types of sentences are also possible, so you should make sure that you understand what terms are placed on your sentence. This can help you to know you will have to do because of your conviction.

Source: FindLaw, “Types of Sentences,” accessed June 06, 2017

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