Sentencing Guidelines Law and Legal Definition

Sentencing guidelines are the standards for determining the punishment that a person convicted of a crime should receive, based on the nature of the crime and the offender's criminal history. In short it is the set of rules and principles a trial court judge follows to decide about the sentence to be given to a defendant who is found guilty. The sentencing guidelines are laid down by the United States Sentencing Commission. The sentencing guidelines help the judges to resolve their confusion in the complex decision making process. The main object behind sentencing guidelines is to ensure consistency of sentencing in all courts in United States.