During sentencing on a guilty plea, can a judge use false and unsupported claims by a surviving family member on victim impact statement to increase penalties?

The family searched the social media and claimed they saw evidence of partying in the months after the accident. They did not offer, nor was their for proof asked for, yet the judge said this clearly showed lack of contrition so said that he was increasing severity of penalties accordingly. The defense attorney took no action.

Asked on June 26, 2014 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all state sin this country, when it comes to sentencing proceedings afte a person has been convicted of a crime, the court is allowed to hear statements of people who are interested in the matter where some information given may not be the most reliable and may simply be false. The key is whether the sentence given is in the guidelines of the statute that the person was convicted under.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.