As you anxiously await your day in court you may be wondering about sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania, it is safe to say you will have many questions on your mind. Above all else, you will find yourself asking the following: if I am convicted or plead guilty what kind of sentence can I expect?
In other words, you want to know what the punishment will be if you are convicted of a crime or decide to plead guilty as opposed to “not guilty.”
Sentencing Guidelines in Pennsylvania Explained
This is a very good question, with an answer that is based on a variety of factors.
While there is a standard sentencing guideline that is used, only a qualified attorney can help answer this question in greater detail. After all, the finer details involving your case could greatly change the outcome in terms of the kind of sentence you can expect.
There is no denying the fact that sentencing is a critical phase of criminal proceedings. During this time, you have the right to prevent evidence in mitigation to your sentencing judge.
Note: this is when an experienced attorney is well worth every dollar.
The sentence that you can expect to receive is dependent on a number of factors including but not always limited to:
- The severity of your offense
- Your criminal history (no past crimes will work in your favor)
By law, sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania must be considered by the judge presiding over your case. These guidelines will take into consider both the severity of the offense as well as any criminal history.
It is important to note that sentencing guidelines are not mandatory and are not binding upon the court. Along with this, the court is free to deviate from those guidelines by either giving you a more harsh sentence than the guidelines call for or a less severe sentence.
With all this in mind, it is critical at the sentencing stage to have an attorney that can assist you in bringing evidence of mitigation to the court. This often times includes evidence of past alcohol and drug treatment, evidence of close ties to the community, family support, evidence of employment history, and any other factors that can help show you as a complete person to the sentencing judge.
Rather than attempt to answer this questions about Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines on your own, focus on finding a local criminal defense attorney who can provide advice and work on your behalf to have your sentence reduced or eliminated.