The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing’s Guidelines provide a framework for Common Pleas Judges as they sentence people convicted of crimes at the state level. Below you will find what is known as Pennsylvania’s Sentencing Matrix. The law does NOT require Judges abide by the guidelines; however, most Judges greatly prefer to sentence within the guidelines. Should a Judge wish to deviate from the guidelines, appellate courts have held that they must put the precise reasons for imposing a greater or lesser sentence on the record in open court.
While the only true limitation on Judges regarding the sentence they choose to impose is the statutory maximum for the offense set by the legislature, a working knowledge of the guidelines, combined with a general familiarity with the sentencing habits of individual judges, allows attorneys to quickly assess the overall risk their client faces with regard to a specific case.
Call the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. at 610-680-7842 or chat online for help with your case.