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Ken is a NJ trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He has been selected to write the new ABA book: DUI and Drug Possession Defense".

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sentencing in a Criminal case

Sentencing in a Criminal case

The Judge at the time of sentencing always has several options including but not limited to jail, probation, community service, restitution and substance abuse counseling.  The Probation Department, which has interviewed you, will prepare what is called a Pre-Sentence Report. This provides information regarding the offense to the Court together with information regarding your background.  The judge will also review any letters or documents that are submitted to the Court on your behalf.

.  Please bring an extra copy of all letters of reference, pay stubs and any other documents for the judge just in case the court has lost the copies.  Please provide a list of  (15) reasons why the judge should not give you the maximum penalties, fines or impose a jail sentence.
I recommend very strongly that you obtain letters from relatives or other individuals who know you who would be willing to write to the Court to indicate that there should not be incarceration. These letters should set forth favorable aspects regarding your life and your future.  They should point out some of the good traits that you possess. They should also feel free to put any other reasons why the Court should impose the minimum penalties. The letter should include your date of birth and indictment number.
         Obtain written proof of attendance at any substance abuse programs, rehab, community service, etc. Phone calls not sufficient.
         Obtain a letter from your employer. When plea agreement calls for a county jail or prison term, follow the instruction on the website involving work release and ISP. If you are not working, get a job and have your employer will fill out the Work Release paperwork and ISP paperwork.
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The direct address between the judge and the convicted defendant prior to sentencing.  During the address, the judge speaks directly to the defendant and asks if the defendant has anything to add prior to hearing the sentence.  The defendant then answers the judge and may say anything in an effort to lessen the severity of the sentence, such as an apology, an offering of remorse, or an explanation of the motivations that drove the defendant's criminal actions. Source: Cornell Law