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New York Sentencing

A conviction or guilty plea for a misdemeanor or felony will result in a criminal sentence. For first offenses, a criminal attorney may be able to negotiate a suspended sentence, interim probation, or a conditional discharge. For clients with a criminal history, it will become harder to negotiate a sentence with no incarceration attached. For clients with multiple prior convictions, it may become necessary to fight a case at the Grand Jury stage or to pursue a trial.

A skilled criminal attorney should pursue a number of sentencing strategies for keeping his client out of jail or prison for as long as possible. Often, the attorney must fight a case from the beginning, arguing and preserving all arguments through written motions and discovery procedure and constant contact with the prosecutor. In our glutted criminal justice system, a prosecutor will tend to offer better deals if a case starts to become more trouble than it is worth or if the chances of the prosecutor losing start to climb.

A criminal sentence can also have a number of collateral consequences, which include a permanent record and a loss of rights, sex offender registration, and immigration problems. Unfortunately, a person must have an attorney who informs him of these collateral consequences before making a decision about a sentence, otherwise the person will have a hard time undoing an unfair sentence through a 440 motion or appeal for ineffective assistance of counsel.

The best attorneys will prepare for a sentencing in the same manner as a trial, gathering all of the evidence, showing the weaknesses in the case, gathering supportive letters from friends, family, coworkers, or other people in the community, and arguing for the lowest possible sentence based on mitigating circumstances.

To view the basic guidelines for sentencing in New York, you can view this sentencing chart. For federal cases, the sentencing is much more complicated and involves the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Also, the laws have a number of exceptions and methods for reducing or increasing a sentence. For example, many offenses qualify for merit time or presumptive release, but violent offenses, sex offenses, child pornography offenses, and certain high-level drug offenses do not. Aggravating factors, such as a hate crime enhancement or prior felony conviction, can increase a sentence. An attorney must carefully review the statutes before planning the best strategy for pursuing the least severe sentence.
Attorney Advertising: All content sponsored by The Law Office of Adam Bevelacqua, LLC. Although informational, this website may be considered attorney advertising. Every case has unique circumstances, and a person should consult a criminal attorney before taking any legal action.