People facing criminal charges often want to know what type of sentence they’ll face if they’re convicted. While many are focused on whether they’ll face time in prison or not, there are also other sentences they may have to face.
Some of the other sentences that a criminal court might hand down include:
Probation allows an individual who has been convicted of criminal wrongdoing to remain out in the community while a probation officer supervises them. This program requires adherence to specific rules, such as avoiding drugs, taking drug tests, having stable housing and obtaining suitable employment. Failing to follow the rules can result in a probation violation.
Community service allows an offender to give back to the community in a meaningful way. This sometimes includes activities like cleaning trash from the roadside or speaking to certain groups about matters like why drunk driving is wrong.
Some courts have special programs, such as drug court, to meet the needs of certain cases. These address an underlying issue that’s contributing to someone’s legal issues. For example, drug court helps an offender to find suitable substance abuse treatment programs and monitors them through various steps as they learn to more effectively manage their challenges.
Fines and restitution
Fines are paid to the court to help the person as a punishment for the crime. Restitution is paid to the court and then distributed to victims if they’ve faced financial impacts as a result of someone’s criminal wrongdoing.
A suspended sentence is one that an offender won’t have to serve unless they don’t meet the court’s conditions. This can include staying out of legal trouble while on probation or participating in a particular program like a substance abuse treatment program.
Understanding the possible sentences you’ll face if you’re convicted of criminal charges may help you if/when you have a need to plan a criminal defense strategy. Ideally, you’ll work with a legal professional who can help you to determine the goals for your defense, as well as the exact kind strategy you should employ for the best opportunity at securing a favorable outcome.