Hearing a guilty verdict read by a deadpan juror might seem like it is the end. But it isn't; you still have plenty of options to defend yourself. You can argue in favor of probation over incarceration. You can push for reduced fines or restitution. There are still plenty of options to ensure, even though you were convicted, that you are punished fairly. Here are some of the various punishments the court may impose.
The court can impose a variety of these punishments, including:
- Community service.
- Fines that are generally statutory.
- Jail time (short-term or less than one year).
- Prison time (more than one year).
- Probation and a suspended sentence. Your punishment is forestalled but if you violate probation, then it is reinstated.
- Restitution to the victim.
The court can impose any combination of these punishments and generally they do. For minor crimes like infractions (typically a traffic ticket), you will only have to pay a fine. For more serious offenses like misdemeanors, you may face a combination of probation, community service and a fine. For very serious offenses like felonies, you will probably have even more punishments that include incarceration, restitution, fines and probation.
If you were convicted of a crime, you hopefully already had an attorney assisting you but if you did not, then you should probably speak to one as soon as possible. As you can see, the conviction is only part of the battle. The prosecutor must also prove that you should be punished in a certain fashion. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including arguments you put forward. An attorney can help you prepare your arguments and thoughts so that you present your best self to the judge.