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Montgomery County Sentencing

Criminal charges could result in serious consequences. Being accused of a crime could be a stressful time, and lead to many questions about how to build a defense, what the litigation process entails, and, most importantly, what happens if you are found guilty. If you have been accused of a crime, a practiced criminal attorney could examine the evidence and work to help you build a strong defense for your case. However, even with a capable law team on your side, it is still important to understand the Montgomery County sentencing process.

Sentencing Process in Montgomery County

Sentencing is a phase of litigation that takes place either after somebody is found guilty of a charge or they have pleaded guilty to a charge. In Montgomery County, and in the entire state of Maryland, sentencing rests solely on the shoulders of a judge. The judge will receive recommendations from the prosecutor and from the defense, but the judge will have the final word on sentencing and the determination of what is appropriate given the circumstances of the case before that judge.

It is imperative to understand that there are aggravating factors that can impact sentencing. This could be a person’s criminal history, the severity of the case, and any mitigating circumstances that have been presented to the judge concerning the sentencing.

Misdemeanor Cases

The sentencing process for a misdemeanor case takes place usually after either the person has been found guilty of the charge or pleaded to the charge. A presentation is made by both the prosecutor and the defense of their recommendation to the judge with respect to what should happen as far as sentencing is concerned. Ultimately, the judge makes the final decision after that input of what sentence a person should be given.

Felony Cases

In Montgomery County, the sentencing process for felony cases is similar to misdemeanor cases. The decision of whether a defendant is found guilty or not guilty is made by either a judge or a jury, but the decision about what sentence the defendant should receive is up to the judge. The judge will receive recommendations from the prosecution and the defense but will ultimately make the decision of what sentence to give to the individual based on the information and recommendations that they have heard. The penalties for a felony offense are more serious than in misdemeanor cases.

Contact a Montgomery County Lawyer About Criminal Sentencing

An attorney can advocate on behalf of a defendant by presenting mitigating information to the judge that would tend to reduce the impact that the guilty plea or guilty finding could have against them. This information could include the defendant’s lack of criminal history, educational background, family background, employment, ties to the community, their actual role in the case if it was something minimal, and character testimony or reference letters. Also, any treatment that was done by the defendant, if treatment was appropriate or necessary under the circumstances, would be a factor that the defense attorney might present.

If you are facing a criminal charge, it is crucial to build a strong defense with the help of an experienced lawyer. Call today and schedule your first consultation with a well-versed lawyer who is knowledgeable about Montgomery County sentencing.

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