– from Martha Z. in Kewaskum, WI
I am being tried in the case here in Milwaukee, WI and I do not understand who determines the punishment if I am convicted. Is it the judge or is it the jury? What about a state law that says something like “a minimum of three years in prison”? Any response would be helpful.
Criminal Defense Attorney Response:
This is a basic question, but great question to ask a criminal attorney.
The judge and jury play separate roles.
The jury is responsible for determining if a person is guilty of a crime or not.
The judge on the other hand will determine the sentence. In both misdemeanor and felony convictions the judge will have guidelines to follow. Sentencing guidelines will normally have a minimum sentence as well as a maximum sentence.
The jury will give the judge a recommendation regarding the sentence, but it is ultimately up to the judge to decide on the punishment.
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