Better Sentences With a Top Criminal Defence Lawyer
A defendant who pleads guilty or is handed a guilty verdict after trial will be sentenced or punished according to the penalties fixed by applicable criminal law. If both sides had previously entered into a plea bargain agreement, the judge may impose punishment based on its terms or take into account other factors before fixing the defendant’s sentence.
Negotiating a plea bargain and presenting favourable circumstances in evidence are effective sentencing strategies by a criminal defence lawyer. Melbourne judges may choose from several sentencing options to promote rehabilitation of the offender while reducing the strain of overcrowded jails.
Purpose of sentencing
The objectives of sentencing are the following:
to ensure that the offender is adequately punished for the offence
to prevent crime by deterring would-be offenders from committing the same act
to protect the community from the offender
to promote rehabilitation of the offender
Courts may impose any of the following sentences on guilty offenders:
dismissal and conditional discharge
payment of a fine
full-time custodial imprisonment
Sentencing options for young offenders are different and are likely to be less severe because its primary aim is to rehabilitate the offender before reintegrating the young offender into society.
The following factors may help persuade a judge to grant a more favourable sentence:
the demeanor, statements and cooperation of defendant during trial
presence of mitigating circumstances which reduce responsibility of the defendant as perpetrator of the crime
past criminal history
mindset and intention of the offender while committing the crime
extent of damage as a result of the crime such as personal injuries, property damages, expenses and personal costs
absence of treachery, cruelty or premeditation in the commission of the crime
Sentencing may take place immediately after a guilty verdict in misdemeanor cases or after a few days or weeks in felony cases and those that may carry long incarceration periods.
During the sentencing hearing, the judge may allow allocution statements to be made by persons for the defendant.
These and other factors like detention time already served, good behaviour between the time of conviction and sentencing, and statements made by the offender in pre-sentencing reports are some of the matters that may be used to obtain a favourable sentence with the assistance of your criminal lawyer Melbourne. Courts are limited in their sentencing options to ensure that not only is a crime adequately punished but more importantly, that an offender is not punished excessively.