The sentence that you have to deal with when you are convicted of a criminal charge depends on a host of factors. The court will consider all of these factors whether you are convicted or plead guilty. It is imperative that you understand the factors that are used because you need to understand how these might impact the sentence you receive.

Typically, the court considers the type of charge that you have, as well as your criminal history. Other factors, such as mental health history, might also have a part in the sentence you receive. You should work to find out how each of those might come into the picture in your case.

When the sentence is handed down, there are several points that you need to listen to. For example, you need to listen to the type of sentence you have. This can be an immediate sentence or it might be a suspended sentence. You might also have to serve time in prison or doing community service. Fines and probation are also possible for some criminal charges.

Some people might qualify for pretrial diversion programs, which can help them avoid a strike on their criminal history as long as they are doing the things they are supposed to do to complete the diversion program.

Whether you are going through a criminal trial or trying to work out a plea deal, you should understand the sentencing methods used by the court. These can have a big impact on your case, so your defense should be tailored according to what might impact the case.

Source: FindLaw, “Criminal Sentencing,” accessed June 02, 2017