Panel to Address New York Sentencing Laws

A “blue ribbon” panel is being assembled to take a look at New York’s aging sentencing laws. The most in depth analysis these laws have seen in 40 years will involve judges, defense lawyers, and even victims, all weighing in on the current laws and what could be done to improve them.

According to the Daily News, the panel will conduct thorough analysis on, among other things, whether or not the current sentencing laws are serving any use at deterring crimes. Of course being locked up means you won’t commit a crime, but is your prison stint keeping anyone else from following the same criminal path?

One panelist, a Superior Court judge is calling for more “truth in sentencing”. Truth in sentencing refers to a concrete and set punishment for a crime, rather than for instance, a potential term of 2-6 years for a judge to choose within. While truth in sentencing does have some benefits, judicial discretion in sentences like a 2-6 range allow for the special circumstances in a case to be taken into consideration.

The panel is expected to recommend longer sentences in some cases and more access to prison alternatives in others. In specific they hope to see if alternative community sentences can be effective while decreasing the number of people being sent to prison.

According to this article, many courtroom players and even judges are often confused by the current sentencing laws. It’s understandable how a defendant could be confused at his potential outcome when the judge proceeding over the case doesn’t even know how much of a sentence they may face.

Currently, many sentences are bungled and left for appeals courts to sort out, something that shouldn’t have to happen on a routine basis at the appellate level.

When you are facing criminal charges, knowing your potential sentence is crucial in how you approach your case. While you may know someone who faced similar charges and got probation, you might not be so lucky. The drug laws have changed drastically over the past few years, further increasing confusion when it comes to these types of offenses.

If you’re looking at a court date and in the dark about what to do, contact us today. We can give you a free consultation on your case and perhaps offer you some valuable legal advice. A defense attorney is there to make sense of the laws for you and to help you get the best possible results in the New York criminal courts.

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