Sentencing is a complex and multifaceted piece of the legal system. The severity of the crime, the situation under which it occurred, and previous convictions can all factor into the decision, usually made by a judge.
Punishments can include fines, incarceration, probation, community service, or drug and alcohol rehabilitation. In general, the law has sentencing requirements for specific crimes that must be carried out. This usually means that there are minimum and maximum sentences for certain crimes.
Changes in Louisiana Sentencing Law
Recently, the laws surrounding sentencing in certain situations have changed. In general these changes allow the judge more freedom to suspend, change, or reduce sentencing than they previously had. The following situations have all seen significant changes.
- Repeat offenses of crimes now have shorter minimum sentences.
- First-time violent crimes also have shorter minimum sentences.
- Repeated DUI offenses can now result in substance rehabilitation.
- Multiple-felony offenders can now be sent to rehabilitation for substances or receive mental health treatment if the case calls for it.
In many cases, the judge now has the ability to tailor sentencing to the situation as opposed to being forced to give a standard and mandated punishment. Parole was also made available in new situations, and the maximum sentence was lowered for a variety of offenses.
Legal Help From Someone Who Understands the System
If you are facing criminal charges, it is essential that you get professional legal help from people that understand the charges and potential sentence that you are facing. At the Law Office of J. Bradley Cockrell, we understand Louisiana law and can help you find the right approach for your legal situation. If you find yourself in a situation like this, give our office a call at (337) 234-3330, 24 Hours a Day/ 7 Days a Week.