After the defendant either pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial, the judge determines the sentence. A sentence could include, but is not limited to:
• Community Service
Victims Role at Sentencing
Victims have the absolute right to be heard at sentencing, though it is not required if you do not feel like participating in. Victims may address the court directly by making a victim impact statement or indirectly by providing a written statement to be presented to the court, the prosecutor and the defense.
If you are a victim, we will attempt to notify you of the sentencing date and help you prepare if you wish to make a statement. The District Attorney's Office feels that active victim involvement is critical to delivering justice and we encourage participation.
After the hearing from the prosecutor, the victim and/or victim's family and the defendant, the judge will announce the sentence, usually right then and there.
Felonies are classified as Class A, Class B or Class C crimes. Class A offenses care a maximum penalty or 30 years in prison, Class B is 10 years in prison and Class C is 5 years maximum in prison.
Misdemeanors are classified as Class D and E crimes and are punishable by a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail or prison.
Fines and probation can also be ordered in all levels of criminal offenses.
Deferred dispositions are findings of guilt which may be withdrawn with the successful completion of a probationary period. Deferred dispositions are available on Class C, Class D and Class E crimes only. The goal of a deferred disposition is to allow closure for a victim, protect the community, and allow a defendant to make amends and change his or her behavior to demonstrate that they deserve that the charge either be a lesser offense (often a felony to a misdemeanor) or void a guilty finding and the charge is dismissed or reduced upon successful completion of the deferred period.
From the District Attorney's perspective, the goal of any sentence is to represent the interests of victims and/or law enforcement, protect the community and public safety, and deliver justice in a manner that influences a defendant to no longer violate the law.