When thinking about criminal prosecutions, most residents are familiar with police investigation and trial. But what about after a conviction? There are many post-trial issues to understand after a person is found guilty of a crime.
Sentencing in Illinois
If a defendant is convicted during a trial, or enters a guilty plea, the judge must determine the proper punishment, called a sentence. In many cases, especially for more serious crimes, there is a separate proceeding after the trial to determine the sentence. During this sentencing proceeding, the judge may weigh additional evidence to consider when sentencing. During this process, the judge receives a pre-sentence report with information about the defendant, including information about the family, background, and employment history.
State officials develop, implements, and administers a range of recommended sentences for use by judges in criminal proceedings. Although the recommended sentences are discretionary (i.e., judges are not required to follow the guidelines when determining the length and type of penalty for a crime), there are sometimes specific rules that judges abide by in making their decision. For some crimes, the law may require a judge to impose a prison term no less than a predefined amount of time (called a minimum sentence). Minimum sentences differ according to the crime.
Appeals in Illinois
If a defendant loses his or her criminal trial, the defendant may appeal the decision to a higher court.
Throughout the appeals process, defendants have certain rights. It is essential that individuals facing criminal charges have adequate legal representation.
Contact a Chicago Criminal Appeals Lawyer
If you have been charged with a crime, it is critical to contact a skilled Chicago defense lawyer. Understanding your rights may be the difference between freedom and criminal prosecution. The experienced attorneys at Barney & Hourihane are dedicated to representing Illinois residents in all types of criminal matters, including appeals. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.