Sentencing

When the jury has a unanimous decision on all of the charges, they are brought back into the courtroom to deliver their verdict to the court and the parties to the case, the prosecution and defendant.  If there are any findings of guilty, the next step is sentencing.  Sentencing is done by the judge who heard the trial.

If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor crime, the judge will probably sentence you immediately. If it is a felony conviction, the judge will sometimes put off sentencing until a later date. Depending on the seriousness of the charges you were convicted of, sentencing can range from a few months of probation, to long prison sentences. If found “not guilty” of the charges, you are free to go that day.

If you are found guilty of any charges, you may have grounds to appeal the verdict.  An appeal is a legal action that asks a higher court to review the legal findings of a trial court. Depending upon the facts of the case and the conduct of the trial, a good criminal defense lawyer may be able to file an appeal on your behalf after you’ve been initially convicted.

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Post-Trial Responsibilities

If you are convicted and sentenced, you may be sentenced to jail, or to a term of probation, or both. If you are fortunate enough to receive probation, it’s very important to follow all the terms in the probation agreement. Otherwise, any probation violation can result in you having to serve stiffer penalties. Probation, especially for young people, is not a “free ride.” It can be onerous and can set you up for failure and more severe punishment.

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