There are two different ways that a sentence is generally decided in a criminal case. The first way is through a negotiated plea between the defense and the prosecution, where there is simply an agreed upon outcome as to the sentence. That’s probably the most common. In another circumstance, someone can actually enter a plea to a judge, where the judge will hold a hearing. That’s known as a sentencing hearing, where they will hear both aggravation and mitigation. Based on that, the judge will determine within the statutory constraints, what an appropriate sentence is.
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