In most criminal cases the presiding judge will use the guidelines set out by the U.S. sentencing commission when he is deciding the punishment for a defendant who has been found guilty. The guide however, is merely a general standard that the judge may deviate from at his own discretion.
The circumstances surrounding the crime will have a profound influence on the judge’s ultimate decision. If for instance, the defendant was an accomplice to the crime rather than the instigator the judge may be inclined to leniency. On the other hand, if the crime resulted in physical injury to the victim the judge may well come down hard on the defendant. There are some cases however, where the judge’s interpretation of the laws are not so tolerant.
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws apply to cases of criminal behavior that involve illegal drug possession or trafficking. The amount of the drugs that the defendant is found with will contribute to the degree in severity of the sentence.
These mandatory laws also dictate the sentences handed down in cases of “three strikes.” If the offending defendant has been found guilty of committing two previous felony crimes for example, minimum rules command that the sentence he receives for the third be increased. If the crimes were of a violent nature the defendant may well be sentenced to life imprisonment at his third trial.
If you find yourself in the position of possibly becoming the defendant in a court of law, your first and foremost move should be to meet with a defense attorney who has experience in dealing with the particular crime that you have been accused of. Your attorney can tell you about the potential penalties that you may be facing and explain your options for the best defense.
The firm of Parker Lawyers is represented by attorneys familiar with every facet of the law. You will be putting yourself and your future in good hands by consulting with the professionals who have been serving the citizens of Parker and the surrounding area for over twenty-five years.