Approaches to Criminal Sentencing

Approaches to Criminal Sentencing

Get answers from a skilled criminal lawyer in Broward by calling 954-523-5333

Federal and state criminal statutes cover mandatory sentencing that requires a judge to impose an identical sentence on all individuals convicted of the same crime. Mandatory sentencing has become important to counter the public perception that the judiciary engages in inconsistent sentencing practices. Florida has enacted laws that require mandatory sentences following a conviction for enumerated crimes.

Our Plantation Criminal Attorneys will never charge a fee to discuss your case. 

However, this type of sentencing is used only in rare cases. Wherever the sentencing is not mandatory, the judge will try to impose punishment that is fitting for the offender, and not what may be fitting for a particular crime. Contact Broward Criminal Lawyer William Moore for information about how we can help.

Former Broward State Prosecutors, the attorneys at William Moore Criminal Defense have the experience and knowledge in defending individuals facing criminal charges in Fort Lauderdale.

Plantation Criminal Defense Lawyer Home
Contact our legal team and schedule a meeting in Plantation or Broward

Different Approaches to Sentencing

The society has different approaches to criminal sentencing, which causes different responses and perceptions regarding various judicial verdicts, particularly in high profile criminal cases. Some of the key approaches are as follows:


Some people opine that the fundamental purpose of punishment must be to deliver a strong message and punishment to an offender for the crime committed. This, in a way, becomes the society’s retribution against a criminal. It is not only for society but for the individual victim’s family and friends. It may not bring back the victim or make the victim whole again but it does send a message that society does care and if something happens in prison to the defendant or suspect, it does not bother too many people.


Some people in the society firmly believe that the larger objective of punishment must be to reform and rehabilitate a criminal. The punishment must be such that it helps a criminal mend his or her ways. Eventually, the punishment should serve the purpose of rehabilitation and acceptance of the convict back into the social mainstream.

The problem with this is that there is not any guarantee, the recidivism rate is still high, and with most states on the verge of bankruptcy, government agencies do not have the manpower or resources to devote to every person that could use some serious and long-term counseling. Locking the criminal in a cell is the common approach because of its simplicity.


There is another school of thought that argues that the punishment must be exemplary so that it deters others from committing the same crime in the future. However, the reality is that most of the crimes occur impulsively, or under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol, or where another sentiment overrides the sentiment of fear of getting caught.

With that said, this concept is genuine according to Plantation Lawyers who defense people accused of committing crimes. People are generally terrified to be sent to serve a prison sentence. Our Criminal Lawyers in Plantation Florida try to seek a lighter sentence for their clients using any of the approaches to sentencing as a basis of their argument. Contact Fort Lauderdale William Moore Criminal Defense for legal representation. Visit our criminal defense law firm in Broward County today.

Different Types of Sentences

Sentences can be classified into several different categories as follows:

  • Concurrent: This type of sentence is required to be served during the same time as a separate sentence already imposed, or imposed at the same proceeding.
  • Cumulative: This is a consecutive sentence which takes place when a defendant is required to serve sentences for various counts.
  • Deferred: When the execution of a sentence is postponed for some reason, it is a deferred sentence.
  • Life Sentence: It is a sentence that requires a convict to serve the remaining years of his or her life in imprisonment.
  • Mandatory: This sentence is created by the virtue of a state or federal statute and imposes a punishment for which there is no scope for discretion with the judge.
  • Minimum: It is a sentence that represents the minimum quantum of punishment or prison time that a convict must serve before he or she can become eligible for release or parole.
  • Maximum: This sentence represents the upper limit of a punishment, exceeding which a convict may not be kept in custody.