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Sentencing and how to know what to expect in court

If you're being accused of sexual offenses like rape or sexual assault, you need to understand the kind of sentencing you could face. Here are a few quick questions and answers you may want to consider.

Who determines what kind of sentence you receive?

Unlike in the movies or on TV, it's not the jury who gets to decide what happens to you in most cases. Usually, a judge determined what kind of sentence you'll face, while the jury simply decides if you're guilty or innocent. Sometimes, a jury will decide on the punishment, like in capital punishment cases.

How will you know what kinds of sentences you could face?

Your attorney will be able to help you understand the sentences you could be facing. A meeting with your defense attorney should take around a half an hour, and it can be spent talking about the crime and potential punishments for that crime. Usually, punishments are standardized to a degree, so you should be able to tell where you stand with your case.

Do people who commit similar crimes get similar punishments?

There are too many factors to allow similar crimes to be punished the same. If a person has a past record, that may be considered in his punishment. Some crimes do have mandatory sentencing guidelines, and others have minimum mandatory guidelines that need to be followed.

Our website has more information on sentencing, so you can get the information you need to make an informed decision about your future.

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