sen·tence 1 /'sent-əns, -ənz/ n [Old French, opinion, judicial sentence, from Latin sententia, ultimately from sentire to feel, think, express an opinion]
1: a judgment formally pronouncing the punishment to be inflicted on one convicted of a crime
2: the punishment that one convicted of a crime is ordered to receive
concurrent sentence: a sentence that runs at the same time as another
consecutive sentence: a sentence that runs before or after another
cumulative sentence: consecutive sentence in this entry; also: the combination of two or more consecutive sentences
death sentence: a sentence condemning the convicted defendant to death
de·ter·mi·nate sentence /di-'tər-mə-nət-/: a sentence for a fixed rather than indeterminate length of time
general sentence: a sentence that does not allocate the punishment imposed for the individual counts on which the defendant was convicted
◇ General sentences are impermissible.
in·de·ter·mi·nate sentence /ˌin-di-'tər-mə-nət-/: a sentence of minimum and maximum duration with the exact length to be later determined (as by a parole board)
life sentence: a sentence of imprisonment for the rest of the convicted defendant's life
mandatory sentence: a sentence that is specifically required or falls within a range required by statute as punishment for an offense
imposed the minimum mandatory sentence for distributing drugs near a school
presumptive sentence: a sentence that is the presumed punishment for an offense and is subject to the upward or downward adjustment of its severity depending on aggravating and mitigating factors
split sentence: a sentence of which part is served in prison and the other suspended and usu. replaced by probation
suspended sentence: a sentence the imposition or execution of which is suspended by the court
sentence 2 vt sen·tenced, sen·tenc·ing: to impose a sentence on

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun adjudication, award of punishment, censure, conviction, decision, declaration of penalty, decree of punishment, decretum, determination, determined punishment, doom, edict, formally pronounced judgment, judicium, order of penalty, order of the court, penalty, prescribed punishment, pronouncement, punishment, ruling, verdict associated concepts: concurrent sentences, consecutive sentences, cumulative sentences, excessive sentence, indeterminative sentence, life sentence, presentence hearing, suspended sentence II verb adjudge, bring in a verdict, commit, condemn, condemnare, convict, damnare, decide, declare guilty of an offense, decree, determine, find, find guilty, hold, immure, impose penalty, imprison, inflict penalty, multare, order, pass judgment upon, prescribe punishment, pronounce guilty, pronounce judgment, proscribe, reprobate associated concepts: presentence report III index adjudge, adjudication, clause, condemn (punish), condemnation (punishment), convict, conviction (finding of guilt), decide, decree, determination, discipline (punish), finding, holding (ruling of a court), judge, judgment (formal court decree), opinion (judicial decision), penalize, penalty, punish, ruling, verdict

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

The punishment given by the court to a criminal defendant who has been found guilty of a crime.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

Punishment in a criminal case. A sentence can range from a fine and community service to life imprisonment or death. For most crimes, the sentence is chosen by the trial judge; the jury chooses the sentence only in a capital case, when it must choose between life in prison without parole and death.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 n. The pronouncement of punishment by a court following a criminal defendant having been found guilty of a crime.
2 v. The handing down of a term of punishment by a court.
@ cumulative sentences
@ concurrent sentences
Two or more periods of incarceration time that are to be served simultaneously. Concurrent sentences have the effect of being a single period of confinement, with the longer one being the limit; for example, a person sentenced to serve concurrent sentences of ten and twelve years concurrently will serve a maximum of twelve years.
=>> sentence.
@ conditional discharge sentence
The person is given no confinement, as long as she performs or does not perform certain specified acts. Failure to follow sentencing provisions may result in confinement after a hearing.
See also probation.
=>> sentence.
@ consecutive sentences
Two or more periods of incarceration time that are to be served in succession. Consecutive sentences have the effect of being the sum of the periods of confinement named, so a person sentenced to serve consecutive sentences of ten and twelve years will serve a maximum of twenty-two years.
=>> sentence.
@ deferred sentence
A sentence that will not be imposed unless the defendant fails to fulfill the conditions of probation.
@ determinate sentence
A sentence of confinement for a specific length of time rather than for an unspecified period.
=>> sentence.
@ extended sentence
An infliction of a more severe period of confinement than is normal for an offense because the perpetrator is a repeat or habitual offender, or where there is a perception that the offender represents a continuing danger to society.
=>> sentence.
@ indeterminate sentence
A sentence of an unspecified duration, such as from 10 to 25 years, or one that a parole board can reduce after the statutory minimum has been served.
=>> sentence.
@ mandatory sentence
A sentence spelled out by law and over which the judge has no discretionary power to tailor to the person being sentenced.
=>> sentence.
@ split sentence
A sentence in which there is enough of a period of confinement to give the wrongdoer a taste of imprisonment, followed by a period of probation, with the second usually being the longer part of the term.
=>> sentence.
@ suspended sentence
=>> conditional discharge sentence.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime. (See concurrent and consecutive sentences.)

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) n. the punishment given to a person convicted of a crime. A sentence is ordered by the judge, based on the verdict of the jury (or the judge's decision if there is no jury) within the possible punishments set by state law (or federal law in convictions for a federal crime). Popularly, "sentence" refers to the jail or prison time ordered after conviction, as in "his sentence was 10 years in state prison." Technically, a sentence includes all fines, community service, restitution or other punishment, or terms of probation. Defendants who are first offenders without a felony record may be entitled to a probation or pre-sentence report by a probation officer based on background information and circumstances of the crime, often resulting in a recommendation as to probation and amount of punishment. For misdemeanors (lesser crimes) the maximum sentence is usually one year in county jail, but for felonies (major crimes) the sentence can range from a year to the death penalty for murder in most states. Under some circumstances the defendant may receive a "suspended sentence," which means the punishment is not imposed if the defendant does not get into other trouble for the period he/she would have spent in jail or prison; "concurrent sentences," in which the prison time for more than one crime is served at the same time and only lasts as long as the longest term; "consecutive sentences," in which the terms for several crimes are served one after another; and "indeterminate" sentences, in which the actual release date is not set and will be based on review of prison conduct.
   2) v. to impose a punishment on a person convicted of a crime.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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