Last updated on May 3, 2016

What Are The Biggest Misconceptions About Sentencing?

The biggest misconception for many people is that one certain sentence exists for each crime and that everybody gets the same sentence each time. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

You’re taking a very, very big risk if you have a casual attitude when you’re being sentenced for a crime.

Can You Assess The Potential Possibilities of Sentencing During A Meeting With the Client?

Yes. We can usually assess the situation fairly well if the client has a good recollection of the events and if the client knows exactly what he’s charged with. Also, it’s best if he knows which court he’s in and his prior record.

We can usually give a pretty accurate opinion as to a typical sentence in this case. However, like I said, everything is somewhat unique and customized. Therefore, until you have the case for a while, it’s hard to say anything with certainty.

Do Judges Ever Treat Men and Women Differently When it Comes to Sentencing?

Some do, but it doesn’t really stand out as a major problem in the system. Perhaps with domestic violence cases, a bias exists towards arresting men, even when both parties are pointing their finger at each other, calling out the aggressor. However, there is still a tendency for the man to be arrested and for the court to assume the circumstances. However, many times, it’s not clear.

What’s the Difference Between Hiring a Private Attorney as Opposed To a Court-Appointed Attorney?

In many cases, the preparation involved for sentencing is the only thing that ultimately sways a judge. When you create a nice package of information for the judge to see and read ahead of time that explains who your client is, why he’s on the right track, how he’s improved his lives, what good he’s done for the community, etc., you can influence the outcome.

Most of the time, the court-appointed counsel will not have access to that information ahead of time. Alternately, they won’t have the time available to prepare that information.Thusly, it’s just usually not a thorough job.

Of course, there are exceptions to that rule. Retained attorneys may do a sloppy job, and some court-appointed attorneys might do a really good job.In general, most of the people who are court-appointed to cases, especially misdemeanor cases, don’t have contact with the client prior to the sentencing. They just show up at the sentencing and meet the clients there.

What is the Most Common Crime You’ve Seen People Go to Jail For?

Getting sentenced to jail has more to do with the client’s prior record, his history in the legal system, and the facts of his case than it does with the specific crime, unless you’re talking about serious felonies like robbery, breaking and entering, attempted murder, delivery and manufacture of cocaine, criminal and sexual conduct, etc. These things will typically result in some jail.

The other crimes, especially things that occur when someone doesn’t have a prior record, don’t often result in jail, unless you have a particular judge who is sensitive to certain crimes.

Therefore, this is not an easy question to answer because everything depends on the circumstances of the crime, the defendant, his prior record, the judge, and sometimes the prosecutor.

Do Clients Ever Compare Their Case to a Friend, Saying, “My Buddy Did the Same Thing. Why Isn’t My Case the Same?”

Yes, this happens all the time. We must explain why these cases are different.

Some courthouses involve one judge who gives an easy sentence, with another judge down the hall who gives a much more difficult sentence for the same crime.

Therefore, people don’t realize that you’re dealing with human beings who have all discretion over your life. This is why it becomes important to make sure you put your best foot forward at all times. No two cases are alike.

For more information on Misconceptions About Sentencing, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (248) 451-2200 today.

Posted in: Criminal Defense
Call Now Button