Sentencing Guidelines Definition
Sentencing guidelines are a set of rules used to develop rational and consistent sentencing policies in a given jurisdiction. The Michigan Sentencing Guidelines and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are advisory, not binding. Judges are free to sentence those convicted of felony offenses to terms of incarceration greater or less than the sentencing guidelines if there is a legally justifiable reason for deviating or varying from the recommended range. The sentencing guidelines do not apply to misdemeanor offenses. A sentence within the guidelines is presumed to be valid on appeal.
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