Punishment for a crime can take all sorts of forms: probation, diversion, jail, prison—to name just a few. The severity of the punishment depends on several factors, including, of course, the offense at hand and the defendant's record.
Although it signals the end of a case, sentencing often represents the beginning of a longer process for someone convicted of a crime. Someone sentenced to probation, for example, might have to live with restrictive conditions for years.
Read on for answers to some of the most common questions about criminal sentencing, including the kinds of punishment and their consequences.