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What are the different types of prison sentences?

If you face the prospect of being sent to prison, you may be wondering what the different types of sentences are that you could receive.

While this may vary from one case to another, depending on the seriousness of the offence and many mitigating factors, here are the most common sentences you could receive:

Concurrent sentence

You will be handed a concurrent sentence if you have been charged for two or more crimes and this means you will serve your sentence at the same time.

Consecutive sentence

A consecutive sentence is also handed out if you have been charged with two or more crimes. However, with this sentence, you will serve your sentences one after the other.

Suspended sentence

This sentence is spent in the community rather than in prison.

If you are given a suspended sentence, you will be subject to conditions. If you break these, it is likely you will be sent to prison.

The law states a suspended sentence will be activated unless it is unjust to do so. In some scenarios, it may be unjust to activate the sentence.

Determinate sentence

If you are given a determinate sentence, this is for a fixed amount of time. These sentences will include a period spent in prison and a set amount of time where you will be expected to be under community licence.

If you break the conditions of your community licence, you may be sent back to prison.

Indeterminate sentence

With this kind of sentence, there is no fixed amount of time. Due to this, there isn’t a set date for your release, and you must spend a minimum amount of time in prison before you can be released.

Your release will be subject to the decision of a parole board and this type of sentence is a form of a life sentence.

Life sentence

Life sentences are given for the most serious offences, such as murder and can also be given for rape and armed robbery.

If you are ever released, you will be on community licence for the rest of your life.

This covers the basics of sentencing, but there are many other factors that can affect the sentence you receive and your conditions after your release from prison.

If you need advice on related matters, contact us today.

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