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What are some sentencing factors in Maryland?

Since we cover so many criminal cases and criminal law issues, we want to take the time to ensure that our readers understand some basics about sentencing that occurs when a person is convicted of a crime or pleads guilty or no contest to criminal charges. The answers to these basic questions might help our Maryland readers to feel a little more prepared as they read about criminal law cases.

What factors go into a sentence being handed down?

There are several factors that are considered when a sentence is handed down. The crime and the nature of the circumstances surrounding the crime are considered. Any criminal history the person has is considered. If the defendant shows remorse, that will be considered, as will the defendant's personal, social and economic circumstances. Any specific sentencing guidelines set by the jurisdictional authorities will also play a part in the sentence handed down.

What are some of the possible sentences a person might receive?

A person can receive a jail or prison sentence. Jail sentences are generally shorter, while prison sentences are generally longer. A person might also be sentenced to probation or community service. Fines, restitution and court costs might be ordered. Additionally, people who have drug or alcohol issues might be ordered to rehabilitation.

Learning about the possible sentences that might be handed down might help those who are going through the criminal justice system. Working with someone familiar with the system might help them to learn about any trends or possibilities as they move through the process of dealing with their case.

Source: FindLaw, "Sentencing Overview" Jan. 05, 2015

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