If 2 people are charged with a Class D felony, should they be given the same amount of time even though they have different criminal records?

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If 2 people are charged with a Class D felony, should they be given the same amount of time even though they have different criminal records?

Asked on December 28, 2014 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The length of each person's sentence  is determined by the judge. who may be following sentencing guidelines or a mandatory sentence imposed by state law.

The judge may take into consideration other factors such as the role of each person in the commission of the felony, with the more culpable person receiving a longer sentence.  A prior criminal record is also a factor in determining the length of a sentence.  If one person has a prior criminal record of violent felonies and the other person has a prior record of non-violent felonies or just misdemeanors, the second individual may receive a lesser sentence than the person with a record of violent felonies.


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