Skip to Content
Serving Los Angeles County and the Greater Southern California Area
Se Habla Español
(310) 361-3068

What you should know about criminal sentences


People who are facing criminal charges need to determine how they’re going to handle their defense. There are several options they may be able to use. These include working out a plea deal, going to trial, or using an alternative sentence like drug court.

It’s imperative for all defendants to understand a bit about the types of sentences that the court might impose. Remember, all of these might not be available in your case.

Consecutive or concurrent

A consecutive sentence means that you’ll serve one sentence after the other. This term is used if someone is convicted of more than one charge. For example, a person who has a 5-year sentence for one conviction and a 10-year sentence for another conviction will serve 15 years if they’re sentenced to consecutive sentences.

A concurrent sentence is one that’s served at the same time as another sentence. Using the previous example, the person would serve a total of 10 years because the other 5 years run at the same time as the 10 years.

Imprisonment or probation

Imprisonment means that you’re going to spend time in jail. Some charges, such as misdemeanors, might come with a fine instead of prison.

It’s sometimes possible to get out of prison after you serve a specific amount of time if you qualify for parole. This enables you to live and work in the community while being supervised by a parole officer.

An alternative to imprisonment is spending time on probation. This involves you remaining out in the community while being monitored by a probation officer.

Anyone facing criminal charges should ensure they understand what penalties they might have to deal with. Working with a criminal defense lawyer who’s familiar with these cases can help you to learn your options for your defense. Doing this quickly is beneficial so you aren’t trying to rush through planning your defense.

Share To: