Sentencing Factors

Sentencing of a defendant in the criminal justice system occurs after a defendant has pled guilty or been found guilty of an offense.  Many factors are considered by the Court when determining what sentence the defendant will receive including:

  • The legal maximum sentence established by the Legislature.
Maximum Imprisonment
3rd Degree Misdemeanor
1 Year
2nd Degree Misdemeanor
2 Years
1st Degree Misdemeanor
5 Years
3rd Degree Felony
7 Years
2nd Degree Felony
10 Years
1st Degree Felony
More than 10 Years
  • The guideline recommendations drafted by the Pa. Commission on Sentencing. 
The guidelines present a range for the minimum sentence that may be appropriate based on the offense gravity score of the current offense and the prior record score of the defendant.
    • Offense Gravity Score - a number assigned to a particular offense based upon its severity.  The OGS ranges from 1(lowest) to 14 (highest).

    • *Prior Record Score - a number assigned between 1 and 5 based upon the total number of prior convictions or adjudications a defendant has at the time the offense occurred. 

  • The pre-sentence investigation report which reports on aspects of the defendant’s background and life circumstances.

  • Restitution is a mandatory component of every sentence.

  • The impact the crime has had on the victim and the victim’s family.
  • Inmate Release Notification Programs

    Victims have a right to be notified of the escape, apprehension, transfer, or release of an offender. You must register with the appropriate state or county program in order to receive notifications. 

© 2008 Perry County Victim Witness Program : : PCVWP
This project was supported by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice. 
Points of view are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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