There are various sentences that criminal convicts may face. If you are being tried for a crime, you need to know that these sentences are because they have different consequences for you. Here are a few examples of criminal sentences:
A consecutive sentence refers to a situation where you have multiple sentences and you have to serve them one after the other. If you are sentenced to consecutive sentences, you will end up serving the sum of all your individual sentences. Consider an example in which you have been sentenced to six months in jail for DUI, three years in jail for negligent homicide, and a year in jail for possessing a control substance. In the case of consecutive sentences, you will spend four and a half years in jail (6 months plus three years plus a year).
A concurrent sentence is one that you serve at the same time as one or more sentence. For example, if you have a one-year jail sentence for fraud and a six-month jail sentence for using a fake ID, you will only serve one year in jail because you will be serving both sentences at once. As you can see, this form of sentencing is much more lenient than the consecutive sentencing.
If you are sentenced to a deferred sentence, then you don't have to serve your sentence immediately. Instead, you are sent on probation and given terms and conditions that you must adhere to for a certain period. You don't have to serve your deferred sentence if you obey the terms of your probation. However, you have to serve your deferred sentence if you violate the terms of your probation.
Consider a case where you are given a two-year deferred jail sentence for a DUI (driving under the influence) and a one-year probation period. In this case, you will not serve the two-year jail sentence immediately; instead, you will go on probation and be instructed to obey all its terms and conditions (such as not drinking or avoiding further DUIs). In this case, you will be sent to jail if you violate the terms of your probation during the course of the year. However, you won't serve your deferred sentence if you successfully complete your probation.
A mandatory sentence is one that is enshrined in the law, and you have to serve it as long as you have been convicted of the relevant crime. This means that the judge cannot defer the sentence or reduce it; you have to serve it as the law stipulates. Consider the example of a state that has a mandatory sentence of three years in jail for the third DUI. In this case, if you are sentenced to your third DUI, then you have to serve three years in jail even if the judge is sympathetic to your plea because that is what the law demands.
As you can see, some sentences are more lenient than others; some you don't even have to serve. This means that you still have hope for leniency and freedom even if you don't win the criminal cases against you; a criminal attorney can help you snag a reasonable sentence. For more information, contact experienced criminal defense lawyers in your area.