Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer
Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area
- 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.