What must a court consider when sentencing a criminal defendant?

Jay Leiderman
By: Jay Leiderman
August 08 2016

Rules for Sentencing a Criminal Defendant

Decisions related to sentencing a criminal defendant that criminal courts must take into account include “the nature of the offense and/or the offender, with particular regard to the degree of danger both present to society.” In re Rodriguez (1975) 14 Cal.3d 639, 654, quoting In re Lynch (1972) 8 Cal.3d 410, 425. In other words: “For the determination of sentences, justice generally requires . . . that there be taken into account the circumstances of the offense together with the character and propensities of the offender.” Gregg v. Georgia (1976) 428 U.S. 153, 189.  The scope of “circumstances in aggravation or mitigation” under Penal Code section 1170(b) is, therefore, coextensive with the scope of inquiry under the similar phrase in Penal Code section 1203.

The Judicial Council has enumerated a number of factors that help guide us toward what an appropriate plea and sentence are in a particular case.  They will be reviewed in detail later in this brief.  They are illuminating herein.

Counsel must also provide relevant materials to the court such that the court, in sentencing a criminal defendant, may impose a just and reasonable sentence and to correct errors in the probation report which might have a negative impact on the sentence imposed by the court. People v. Valdivia (1960) 182 Cal.App.2d 145; People v. Peterson (1973) 9 Cal.3d 717, 726; People v. Fang (1997) 54 Cal.App.4th 669, 677-678.) Preparing statements in mitigation to aid the court in its decision to grant probation or impose a lesser sentence is a commonplace part of the practice of law. (Pen. Code §§ 1204, 1170(b); Cal. Rules Ct. 4.437.)

In In re Rodriguez the court released defendant from further incarceration after a 22 year sentence because “[I]t appears that neither the circumstances of his offense nor his personal characteristics establish a danger to society sufficient to justify such a prolonged period of imprisonment.” (Id. at 655.) In the Rodriguez case, a conviction for violating Penal Code section 288 was at issue where Rodriguez had received a life term.  The court engaged in a cruel and unusual punishment analysis pursuant to the Lynch, supra case.  “[Rodriguez] was only 26 years old at the time of the offense… Thus, it appears that neither the circumstances of his offense nor his personal characteristics establish a danger to society sufficient to justify such a prolonged period of imprisonment.”  (Id. At 655.)


At Jay Leiderman Law, we have proven results over years of practice, and we are uniquely qualified to represent you in your time of need. We are situated in Ventura, California but we handle cases throughout the state. We have the expertise, experience and skill to handle numerous types of legal matters.  Jay Leiderman is one of only a few CERTIFIED CRIMINAL LAW SPECIALISTS in the area.  He handles every kind of criminal law case. He is famous for defending medical marijuana cases and computer hacking cases, though the bulk of his practice is a generous mix of those cases plus serious felonies and misdemeanors.  Read more at his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Leiderman or his homepage www.jayleiderman.com

“A creative and multi-faceted vigorous defense comes from a creative, multifaceted lawyer.” – Jay Leiderman.

Sentencing a Criminal Defendant truth in evidence Prop 115 Prop 8 Evidence Code section 352
Jay Leiderman has tried dozens of cases to a jury – with spectacular results!

This post does not create an attorney-client relationship and does not constitute legal advice.  Moreover, the law changes over time.  Always consult an attorney before determining what motion s to file and what the current law is as to any particular topic.

Criminal defense attorney and author Jay Leiderman, a California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist can be contacted through the contact page of this website: https://www.jayleiderman.com/contact/

41 thoughts on “What must a court consider when sentencing a criminal defendant?

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  7. Stalker gets arrested for stalking! Rot in Hell, JoJo. You lost at life. Fucker! Fuck you, Sue Basko, too. You’re next. Crooked psycho narcissist co-conspirator. You gonna hide without your sociopath to protect you?




    JoJo Camp was arrested yesterday in Lakewood, Colorado. He is currently being held on numerous charges including displaying a deadly weapon, stalking, harassment, violating a restraining order, assault, and bribery.

    JoJo, who hasn’t been out of jail much in recent years, made national headlines when he hacked a university computer network, fled the state, and then was apprehended while trying to sell the identities of thousands of students and faculty to an undercover FBI officer.

    JoJo spent time in prison for the hacking and was released early only to be sent back to finish out his sentence after stalking and harassing a Florida lawyer and her child.

    After being released a second time, JoJo continued his harassment of the lawyer and had a permanent restraining order put out against him last year. Naturally he chose to ignore the PRO but left New York and moved to Colorado.

    JoJo attempted to start a business and a new life in Colorado in Mime related activities (yes, Mime) but wasn’t too successful. He was arrested early Tuesday morning after being set up by one of his victims. It appears he’s being held without bail.

    Mr Camp was running as an independent candidate for Colorado House District 1. Let’s hope this arrest doesn’t interupt his campaign too much.

  8. How do you want the court to sentence JoJo Camp? He stalked you for years. Him and Sue Basko. HE faces 5 years minimum. He should get life. He’s going to kill someone.

  9. He’s such a pussy he strangles women.


    JoJo Camp had a pretrial hearing yesterday regarding numerous charges from his arrest on Tuesday. He’s been charged with several felonies including a Second Degree assault charge that is considered a Crime Of Violence and carries a minimum sentencing of 5 years just by itself. And then there’s the strangulation assault…

    Mugshot courtesy Bullyville via jojocamp.com

    Considering that along with the stalking and harassing charges as well as JoJo’s stalking and hacking history, it looks like JoJo will be gone awhile.

    Bond was set at $100,000, which JoJo certainly doesn’t have, so he’ll be in Jefferson county jail awaiting his two court dates coming up this month on August 16th and the 17th. A couple of the charges against JoJo are being handled by a separate court and judge which could mean separate sentencing. It does not look good for JoJo.

    I did not see any charges for being a mime. I hope those will be forthcoming later this month.

  10. JOseph A Camp sitting in Jail in Jefferson County Colorado. I know he stalked you and your fmily for years, JAy. Respond to me. Acknowledge that he is a sociopathic stalker and deserves to die.

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