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FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO A JUDGE’S DECISION OF PRISON SENTENCING

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People get arrested for all sorts of crime; while some are a misdemeanor, others are a felony. Depending on the severity of a specific crime, the judge decides fines and sentencing. To a layman, it may seem that while one crime is dealt with harsher consequences than others. Continue reading this article to learn more about what external factors come into play while deciding on a prison sentencing.

What happens after an arrest? When one is arrested he is taken to jail where he awaits his bail hearing. At this bail trial, the judge decides whether the accused is granted bail or not. He also sets a bail amount to be posted on behalf of the defendant. Once the bail is posted, he is good to go out and resume his regular life until the actual trial of his case begins. He must be accessible during this period, or it will be considered as skipping bail.

What if one cannot afford to pay the bail? Though most bail amount is set from a pre-determined bail schedule, the amount can seem excessive considering the defendant’s financial background. He may, however, plea to the judge for reducing the bail amount. The judge might consider his economic condition and set a reduced bail sum for the case. But the sad reality is, many people do not get to post the bail amount and therefore are forced to stay inside the prison facility until their trial, which can take weeks and months to take place. All this time, an innocent defendant might have to wait inside the prison, away from his family and friends, just because he cannot pay the full bail amount.

What is an alternative? One unable to pay the money should not be afraid just yet. There are ways to pay bail without having to provide the whole sum. In California, various bail companies provide the defendants with their expert services to get out of jail. For instance, a licensed bail bonds company in Santa Barbara will help posts the bail sum for a defendant and get him out of jail as soon as possible. Most of these bail bond firms in California take about 10% of the whole bail sum as a fee.

How does a judge determine prison sentencing? Once the accused is out of jail on bail, he must prepare for the trial. Hiring an experienced attorney is always the best way to ensure the safety of the defendant. During the bail trial, various mitigating factors play vital roles in determining the severity of the punishment.

  • An offender with a prior criminal record is more likely to get higher sentencing the second time.
  • If the offender is an accessory, helping someone commit the crime without getting directly involved in the act, he may receive lesser sentencing.
  • If no one is physically hurt as a result of the crime, the accused is less likely to get a prison sentencing.
  • The nature of the crime, whether aggravating or accidental, creates a different narrative in the judge’s mind.

There are ways a criminal defender can present evidence in court in support of the accused, to influence the judge’s decision.

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