what to be aware of when divorcing your spouse
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what to be aware of when divorcing your spouse

Every marriage is not meant to last forever. No matter what the reasoning behind the divorce, it is important to have legal representation for each side. I almost lost everything because my former spouse said that he was taking care of things and that he would be fair about how the assets were divided. It took several weeks for me to find out what he was up to. It was then that I hired my own attorney and got what I deserved. You should never attempt to go through a divorce without a lawyer working on your side. On my site, I have listed several of the issues that can get overlooked if you are inexperienced with divorce documents and proceedings.


what to be aware of when divorcing your spouse

How Are Criminal Punishments Decided?

Joy Johnson

The law sets out a gamut of punishment choices for judges and juries to use after a conviction. A lot goes into what punishment is chosen and sentencing is influenced by quite a few factors. To find out more about how criminal punishment is decided, read on.

Mandatory Sentences

Many have heard the term "mandatory sentencing". It implies that those in position to hand down punishments must do so within a tight set of guidelines. Mandatory sentencing came about as a way to make criminal sentencing more consistent, particularly for serious offenses like murder, rape, kidnapping, and more. As a related issue, the so-called "three strikes" rule is a form of mandatory sentencing. If you've been arrested for a serious crime that falls under mandatory sentencing rules, you may have very little wiggle room if you end up being convicted. Those charged with those offenses would do well to work with their lawyers to have the charges changed to something that allows the judge some personal discretion.

What Influences Punishment?

Within certain parameters, judges are usually free to view each defendant and case on its own merits when determining punishment. Several factors are considered when issuing a sentence:

  • The crime committed.
  • The defendant's record.
  • Harm to others — Crimes that involve physical harm are usually punished more harshly than, say, a fraud case.
  • Direct connection to the crime — You can be charged for murder just for riding along in the car with the murderer to the scene. If you can show that you did not know about the murder ahead of time, your sentence might be far less than that of the person who actually pulled the trigger.
  • Defendant attitude — The judge may evaluate how sorry the defendant seemed to be and how much remorse they seem to display.
  • Mitigating issues — In some cases, the perpetrator may have been under mental duress at the time of the crime. This can cover cases of self-defense and being coerced into committing a crime.

A Word About Pretrial Diversion

This justice concept attempts to prevent having to sentence a defendant at all. If a pretrial diversion program is completed, the defendant may be able to avoid harsh punishment and be eligible for a record expungement. Pretrial diversion programs emphasize education over-incarceration and usually involve classes, community service, close monitoring, drug and alcohol testing, counseling, and more.

To find out more about what to expect with punishment, speak to a criminal defense attorney.