How Will the Judge Decide My Sentence?

The judge will evaluate several factors to decide your sentence, including:

  • Criminal history
  • Family support
  • Employment history
  • Social history
  • Circumstances of the case
  • Risk of danger to others
  • Risk of future alcohol or substance abuse

In misdemeanor cases, the decision is made without independent investigation, and is at the judge's discretion up to a maximum by the law. In felony cases, a pre-sentence investigation report will result in sentencing guidelines, which are a range of possible jail or prison times. The court may also consider alternative programs like inpatient substance abuse treatment or probation. Your criminal defense attorney will argue on your behalf to help reduce your sentence.