How will my sentence be decided in Florida?

There are two different ways that a sentence is generally decided in a criminal case. First option, is through a plea-in-fact agreement which is negotiated between the defense and the prosecution. In this case, both the parties reach a common decision whereby they agree on the course of action. Usually, for this process, paperwork is made simpler and the obstacles of the trial are no longer necessary.

In the second method, the defendant comes to the judge and makes a plea directly without any advance agreement on punishment. This procedure typically results in a sentencing hearing, which is an official court procedure where the judge has a vital role. Additionally, at the hearing, the defendant and their legal team will present both the negative and positive pieces of evidence. For example, a past offense or the more harmful nature of the crime will often mean harsher sentencing. On the other hand, if the mitigation shows the evidence of the defendant’s lack of prior criminal history, his expressions of remorse, or other mitigating factors which could lead to a more lenient sentence.

The judge, after having taken into account all the evidence and arguments presented, assigns a suitable sentence within the limits set by the law. Just understand that it is a less predictable route since it depends on the judge’s interpretation of the case and the discretion of the judge. In summary, the hearings are of great importance. Especially, in cases where the sentencing outcomes can be quite different depending on the judge’s evaluation of the factors.

Dale Carson Law is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals.


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