The majority of mandatory minimum sentences are associated with convictions for drug crimes. Following a guilty plea, judges are required to sentence offenders to a mandatory minimum for specific crimes. Marijuana Crimes Mandatory minimum sentencing is a type of sentencing that includes fixed fines and or prison and jail sentences. When choosing the minimum sentence (when a minimum mandatory does not exist), judges are able to use a certain amount of discretion that allows them to make an appropriate decision. Their discretion allows them to use fair judgment for sentencing based on the following information: a defendant’s age, prior criminal record, personal background, and the specific crime charged. However, statutes are put in place for the required minimum time that must be served, which takes away judicial discretion.
There are many examples of drug crimes and violent crimes which require a judge to give a mandatory minimum sentence. Luckily, however, most of those statutes calling for minimum mandatory sentences in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been struck down as unconstitutional. Even though minimum mandatory sentences do not exist for most drug crime convictions, they do exist for some. So how do minimum mandatory sentences work? Let’s look at one example: In a case where a defendant is charged with a crime that results in a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and a mandatory maximum of 10 years, a judge must sentence between 5 and 10 years. Chester County Drug Court Statutes set an appropriate guideline to be followed, while judges have the authority to make decisions between those ranges. An appropriate sentence a judge can give in this case is 7 years after using various factors. Judges are able to apply the mitigating and aggravating circumstances of the case as well to determine a sentence. Make sure to contact the experienced Drug Crime lawyers at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte.