Understanding the Criminal Sentencing Process in Morristown NJ

Understanding the Criminal Sentencing Process in Morristown NJ

The process of criminal sentencing in Morristown, NJ, can be complex. It involves several stages, from the initial arrest to the final sentencing hearing. Understanding this process can help you navigate the system better, especially if you or a loved one are involved in a criminal case. Let’s review the criminal sentencing process.

A Brief Overview of Criminal Sentencing

Criminal sentencing is the penalty imposed and given to a defendant found guilty in a court of law. The severity of the sentence can significantly vary, ranging from fines to incarceration, probation, community service, and in some serious cases, capital punishment. The type of sentence depends on the severity of the crime, the defendant’s past criminal history, the effect of the crime on the victim, and the defendant’s remorsefulness.

Stages in the Criminal Proceeding


The process starts with the arrest of a suspect. This involves recording personal information and the alleged crime and potentially  placing the suspect into custody.


During the arraignment, the charges against the defendant are read and the defendant is asked to plead guilty or not guilty. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case proceeds to trial.


A trial involves presentation of evidence by both the prosecution and defense. If the defendant is found guilty, the case moves onto the sentencing phase.


In the sentencing phase, the judge determines the appropriate punishment based on the evidence presented at trial, the law, and the background information about the defendant.

Factors That Influence Sentencing

  1. Severity of the crime
  2. Prior criminal record of the defendant
  3. Victim impact statements
  4. The law and if  a sentencing range must be adhered to
  5. Defendant’s remorse and attitude

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a defendant appeal the sentence?

Yes, a defendant has the right to appeal the sentence within a specified period after the sentencing.

What is a plea bargain?

A plea bargain involves the defendant pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser charge or sentence.

What is probation?

Instead of incarceration, a defendant can be placed under supervision as  known as probation.

In Conclusion

Understanding the criminal sentencing process in Morristown, NJ, can feel daunting. However, having a basic blueprint of how the system functions can mean the difference between a fair, just outcome and a potentially severe sentence. If you’re facing a potential sentence, seek professional legal counsel to help guide you through the process.

Fernandez Garcia, LLC