When most people think of criminal sentences, they think of imprisonment. However, a court can impose different types of penalties depending on the case’s circumstances and the defendant’s criminal history. Here, we will discuss the different types of sentences that a court can impose in the United States.
A fine is a monetary penalty imposed on an offender. The amount will vary depending on the severity of the offense and the offender’s criminal history, but it is typically not more than a few thousand dollars. Fines are a common sentence for less serious crimes, as long as the offender is not a serious threat to society.
A common sentence imposed in place of imprisonment is probation. The defendant is placed on probation for some time and must comply with specific conditions set by the court. Such conditions include meeting with a probation officer, attending counseling or drug treatment, and refraining from criminal activity.
If the defendant violates the terms of probation, they may be subject to further penalties, including imprisonment. (more…)