March 31, 2017 By Paul Wallin


What is the Purpose of Sentencing? (AB 2590)

If you are convicted of a crime, you will face whatever sentence that is handed down to you. The concept of crime and punishment is nothing new, and it is one that has been adopted by nearly every government in the world. However, many debate the effectiveness of sentencing and whether it solves the problem of crime. In California, a new law has been passed that changes the point of sentencing in the state.

Rehabilitation Over Punishment (AB 2590)

With the passing of Assembly Bill 2590, the focus of sentencing will shift to the rehabilitative aspects of the current law rather than the language focusing on punishment. The new law alters the definition and purpose of sentencing. Previously, the purpose of sentencing was defined as punishment for a crime. This punishment was determined by the state in proportion to the seriousness of the crime as a way to ensure public safety.

The new law promotes rehabilitation and restorative justice by encouraging inmates to join educational and rehabilitative programs. These programs educate and prepare inmates for reentry into the community.

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will create a mission statement consistent with these new principles.

Long-term Effects of AB 2590

The passing of AB 2590 does not completely end punishment for crimes in California. Under this law, the “purpose of sentencing is public safety achieved through punishment, rehabilitation, and restorative justice.” Punishment still appears in the law’s language, but how it impacts your sentence could change.

Most felony offenses carry three possible prison sentences: a low term, middle and high term. For instance, if you are convicted of oral copulation with a minor under 14 years old, you face three, six or eight years in prison. It is up to the judge to determine which sentence to impose in your case.

However, existing law required the court to impose the middle sentencing term after Jan. 1, 2017 unless there were circumstances in aggravation or mitigation of the crime. AB 2590 extends to Jan. 1, 2022 the authority of the judge to impose the appropriate term based on serving the interests of justice.

While punishment still exists for committing a crime, the new law aims at making sentencing more meaningful. Rather than just sitting in a prison cell, the law promotes attempting to reform the future behavior of those convicted of crimes. If inmates spend their time in prison being rehabilitated and learning the error of their prior conduct, they are more likely to return to society as a better person. The new law wants to prepare criminals to go back into their communities without the fear that they will commit another crime.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, you are facing severe consequences. That is why it’s important to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our criminal defense attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing serious criminal charges. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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