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What influence do prosecutors have over sentencing?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2020 | criminal defense | 0 comments

In the state of California, the statements that a prosecutor makes in court could have a massive impact on the judge’s final decision. While the prosecution doesn’t have the power to sentence the defendant, they could influence the sentencing for better or worse. As a result, a harsh prosecution could result in a life sentence for the defendant.

How do prosecutors influence the judge’s decision?

Prosecutors don’t make the final decision, but they can still influence the judge by offering sentencing recommendations. If they recommend a particularly harsh punishment, the defendant might end up facing a punishment that’s disproportionate to the crime. Even a good criminal defense attorney might not be able to protect a client from a prosecutor who claims to be “tough on crime” and recommends harsh punishments to prove it.

In some cases, the judge might opt to commute an individual’s sentence or grant clemency. However, the prosecution can also influence this decision. If they object to the idea of clemency, the judge might decide not to alter their sentence after all. An individual could lose years of their life in prison because they dealt with a particularly harsh prosecutor.

Overall, an attorney offers your best chance at defending yourself from criminal charges. However, in recent years, some prosecutors have tried to focus more on rehabilitation than punishment. These prosecutors aim to make a positive difference in people’s lives and help them get their lives back on track.

How can an attorney help you defend yourself?

If you’re dealing with a tough prosecutor, an attorney might be able to build the best possible case for your situation. They might even be able to point out that the prosecution acted illegally. If they can point out the flaws in the other side’s argument, their entire case might start to unravel.