The nuances of judicial system of a nation are not something the common man is aware of. His awareness is limited to the fact that any unlawful action committed by him could get him arrested by enforcement agencies. He would not have any idea of the sentence he is liable to get or penalty that he would have to pay. Prior to questioning he would be read his rights so that he can exercise his right to an attorney.
A criminal attorney on the other hand, is a fish of the sea. He is aware of all the processes involved in a particular case and usually an experienced and reputed criminal defense attorney would be in a position to make accurate predictions as to punishment that can be expected. More often than not they would be correct. Thus when you find yourself in legal trouble contact a legal professional pertaining to kind of crime you are charged with.
Punishment in any kind of legal charge is decided by judges. Juries decide only the verdict. In cases of capital punishment juries also become part of deciding on the sentence. Moreover a death sentence prescribed by jury cannot be vetoed by the judge.
There are prescribed punishments for certain kinds of crimes but ruling of sentences is completely based on discretion of judge. There are other laws which classify crimes like for example misdemeanors and felonies but the punishment for each is not specified. There are statutes which describe punishments for say all misdemeanors or all felonies in one state. The offense as well as the violation is taken into consideration while determining sentence for cases like a first time offence which is a misdemeanor while subsequent offenses are felonies. First time offense gets a fine of $1000 while second and subsequent offenses have stricter sentences and bigger fines.
There are some mandatory sentences which treat all criminals as equal while handing out punishments. The mandatory sentences are specific and identical sentences for all those who violate the law. This kind of sentencing occurs as a response to end judicial leniency. The mandatory sentences prescribed by federal law are currently used as guidelines. Criminal statutes do not have mandatory sentences. In contrast, the judge takes many factors into consideration and come up with an appropriate sentence.
The many factors that judge considers include, past criminal history, age, family background, events leading to crime, remorse felt by defendant etc. The defense can bring other factors to the notice of presiding judge such as, accused being accessory to crime, committing of crime under lot of personal pressure, nobody was hurt while the crime was being committed etc. All these can help in begetting a lighter sentence from judge.
If you are facing a criminal sentencing in Columbus GA, then seek the help of a Columbus GA criminal defense lawyer immediately.