Selected State Sentencing Laws

Sentencing guidelines have been at the center of much debate. Some feel that strict guidelines ensure justice by eliminating bias, so that defendants are punished the same regardless of their race or social status. 

Following a conviction or guilty plea, a criminal case proceeds to sentencing. The court typically schedules a sentencing hearing. There, a sentencing judge determines a convicted person's punishment.

Whether the case is in federal or state court affects the sentencing procedure. In a federal case, the sentencing judge must consider the federal sentencing guidelines. In a state court case, they consult the state's applicable sentencing laws. Sentencing can vary widely between states.

Sentencing judges may also consider other factors. For example, many states consider prior criminal convictions as aggravating factors. A lengthy criminal record may lengthen a convicted person's sentence. Most states also consider mitigating factors, which may decrease the period of incarceration.

This article explains state sentencing guidelines. It then provides a summary of each state's sentencing guidelines. If you're facing criminal charges, consider contacting a criminal defense attorney for more information about your state's sentencing guidelines.

Sentencing Guidelines Explained

Before the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, judges engaged in indeterminate sentencing. This allowed judges broad discretion to sentence someone to jail or prison. Sentencing judges often consider:

  • The defendant's criminal history
  • Prior convictions
  • Aggravating factors, such as the age of the victim or the defendant being in a position of authority

In short, judges could fit the sentence to the crime and its surrounding circumstances.

The Sentencing Reform Act sought to introduce more uniformity in sentencing. The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) established federal sentencing guidelines in 1987. The USSC created the sentencing guidelines to eliminate disparities in federal sentencing.

By introducing mandatory minimum sentences, it tries to eliminate potential bias from the judiciary. It also tries to impose similar sentences for similar crimes. Statutory sentencing ranges limit judges' discretion, requiring them to engage in determinate sentencing. Generally, this means that the judges must impose a sentence regardless of the crime's circumstances.

Once a court convicts someone of a crime, the sentencing judge determines the convict's prison term. This usually occurs at a sentencing hearing. If the crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge does not have the discretion to impose a lighter sentence than the mandatory sentence.

However, the judge's imposed sentence may exceed the mandatory minimum sentence. State laws may include enhancements that increase the imposed sentence's length or severity.

The Supreme Court's case law also affects sentencing guidelines. For example, in Blakely v. Washington (2004), the Court held that a sentencing judge cannot enhance a criminal sentence based on facts the jury did not decide or the defendant did not admit. As noted in the chart below, several states amended their sentencing structures following the Blakely decision.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Certain Crimes

Sentencing guidelines don't apply to every crime. The federal sentencing guidelines apply to the following types of crimes, among others:

The mandatory minimum sentence depends on the type of crime committed. For example, if a federal court convicts someone of first-degree murder, the mandatory minimum sentence is either the death penalty or life imprisonment. Kidnapping a minor, on the other hand, carries a 20-year minimum term.

FindLaw's Sentencing Guidelines Overview article provides more in-depth information about sentencing guidelines. 


Sentencing guidelines have been at the center of much debate. Some feel that strict guidelines ensure justice by eliminating bias. This ensures that defendants receive the same punishment regardless of race or social status. Supporters also argue that mandatory minimum sentences deter potential criminals from committing crimes.

Critics argue that mandatory minimum sentences are a one-size-fits-all solution to sentencing and individual criminal cases require more discretion. They also contend that mandatory minimums lead to overpopulated correctional facilities. This, in turn, costs taxpayers more money toward prison funding. Moreover, critics say that the criminal justice system should focus more on rehabilitation and community supervision rather than incarceration.

State Sentencing Laws and Guidelines

Below is an overview of each state's approach to sentencing. State laws are subject to change, and each state's respective department of corrections has a different approach to sentencing guidelines.

Some states have "three strikes" laws. These laws vary by state. Generally, if someone is convicted of three felonies, including one violent felony, the three-strikes law mandates a life sentence. Some states allow for parole after the person serves a specific number of years in a correctional facility. The states that have three-strikes laws are noted below.

Some states have sentencing commissions. Although it varies by state, the commission often consists of:

  • Current and former judges
  • Probation officers
  • The state attorney general
  • Criminal justice experts

The commissions generally establish and amend a state's sentencing guidelines. The commissions also routinely analyze the guidelines and their effects on public safety and prison populations.

Talk to an Attorney To Learn More About State Sentencing Laws

If the government has charged you with a crime and you want to learn about the possible sentence, contact a local criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. An experienced attorney can provide you with information regarding the following:

Consider contacting a criminal defense attorney near you. An attorney can provide crucial legal advice throughout your case.

Laws and Guidelines by State

Use the links below to view information about sentencing guidelines in each state:


The Alabama Legislature formed the Alabama Sentencing Commission to study and make recommendations regarding the state's sentencing practices. The state's sentencing standards are available online.

Alabama's sentencing guidelines concentrate on public safety by incarcerating violent offenders, sex offenders, and repeat offenders. The state designed its sentencing practices to promote certainty in sentencing while giving the judiciary "meaningful discretion."


Alaska's prison population tripled between 1980 and 1990. In response, Alaska created a sentencing commission to reform its sentencing guidelines. The guidelines focused on incarcerating violent criminals and repeat offenders. They also contemplated rehabilitation methods as an alternative to imprisonment.

The state legislature modified its sentencing scheme following the Supreme Court's decision in Blakely. The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission, active from 2014-2022, recommended several mandatory minimum sentencing policies.

Through the courts, Alaska has created benchmark guidelines for felony offenses. Judges generally must impose sentences set by state law. But they may consider aggravating and mitigating factors. Alaska does not have an active sentencing commission.


The Arizona Judicial Branch provides a chart with its sentencing guidelines. Judges must generally sentence convicted people according to the chart. However, judges may consider aggravating or mitigating factors. Therefore, judges can engage in some discretionary sentencing. The sentencing guidelines apply to felony convictions, with increasing mandatory sentences for multiple convictions. Arizona has a three-strikes law.


Arkansas established its sentencing commission in 1994. Its goal is establishing sentencing guidelines and monitoring its effect on public safety and society. Judges use a point-based system to consider prior criminal convictions.

Arkansas's sentencing guidelines allow judges to impose suspended sentences in some situations. So long as the defendant abides by the suspended sentence's conditions, they may not have to spend time in a correctional facility.


California imposes mandatory minimum sentences, also known as prescribed sentences. The sentences vary depending on the criminal conviction. California's Penal Code sets the prescribed sentences. California has a three-strikes law.

In 2021, California eliminated mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. It also allows people convicted of voluntary manslaughter or attempted murder to request a court to reconsider their sentence.


Colorado imposes mandatory minimum sentences based on different classifications of crimes. The Colorado General Assembly published an overview of its sentencing guidelines online.

The most serious offense is a Class 1 felony. A conviction for a Class 1 felony results in life imprisonment. Classes 2 through 6 vary between six months and 48 years of imprisonment. Colorado has a three-strikes law.


Connecticut imposes mandatory minimum sentences for over 70 different offenses. The mandatory sentences range considerably.

For example, someone convicted of driving a boat or vehicle while impaired must serve at least 48 hours in a correctional facility (unless the court sentences them to community service). A "murder with special circumstances" conviction results in life imprisonment.

Connecticut's Legislature produced a report detailing its sentencing guidelines. Connecticut has a variation of the three-strikes law.


The Delaware Sentencing Accountability Commission publishes a bench book containing its sentencing guidelines. The sentencing guidelines are voluntary and, therefore, are generally not subject to appeals. The bench book is accessible online. It has a chart summarizing the mandatory minimum sentences for various crimes. Delaware has a three-strikes law.

District of Columbia

The DC Sentencing Commission reviews and analyzes the district's mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. The commission publishes a handbook of its voluntary sentencing guidelines. The sentences imposed using the guidelines are generally not subject to appeal.

The mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree burglary is 24 months. But, a person with no criminal history may receive as little as 12 months. The judge must sentence the person to at least 24 months but could suspend a portion of the sentence.


The Florida Department of Corrections instituted criminal scoresheets for state attorneys to use in sentencing. It applies to all felonies (except capital felonies). Judges must review the completed scoresheet and sign it.

Each offense adds points to the scoresheet, and the total points result in a convicted person's sentence. If an offense has a minimum sentence and the total points result in a sentence less than the minimum sentence, the minimum sentence applies. Florida abolished its Sentencing Commission in 1998. Florida has a three-strikes law.


Georgia mandates minimum prison sentences for seven offenses:

  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Rape
  • Aggravated child molestation
  • Aggravated sodomy
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Murder

A murder conviction results in a 25-year sentence without the possibility of parole. The other listed offenses result in 10-year sentences. Repeat offenders committing one of these crimes may face life imprisonment. Georgia has a three-strikes law.


Hawaii's Paroling Authority generally determines a convicted person's sentence. Hawaii separates felonies into five categories. Each category carries its own potential sentence, ranging from life imprisonment without parole to five years. Mandatory minimum sentences apply to the following types of felonies:

More severe punishments apply to some types of repeat offenders.


Probation officers present sentencing recommendations and a presentence report to the court after a conviction. The recommendation is confidential unless the sentencing judge has authorization to disclose it. The probation officer must disclose the presentence report to the parties. Idaho state statutes impose mandatory minimum sentences for repeat child sex offenders and repeat drug traffickers.


The Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council reviews and analyzes the state's sentencing policies. It aims to ensure the state's sentencing rules conform with its stated sentencing purposes. Illinois imposes mandatory minimum sentences for the following crimes:

  • Armed robbery
  • Home invasions
  • Aggravated discharge of a weapon
  • Felony possession or use of a firearm
  • Aggravated unlawful use of a firearm
  • Attempted murder
  • Vehicular hijacking
  • Repeat offenders/habitual criminals

Illinois also allows judges to consider enhancements if a crime involves the use of a firearm.


Indiana separates felonies into six different categories. The mandatory minimum sentences are as follows:

  • Level 1 felony: 20 years (e.g., rape)
  • Level 2 felony: 10 years (e.g., child pornography)
  • Level 3 felony: Three years (e.g., aggravated assault and battery)
  • Level 4 felony: Two years (e.g., arson)
  • Level 5 felony: One year (e.g., involuntary manslaughter)
  • Level 6 felony: Six months (e.g., aggravated DUI)

Murder in Indiana is a felony, but it does not fall into any of the above-listed categories.


In Iowa, mandatory minimum sentences apply to the following crimes, among others:

  • First-degree murder
  • First-degree sexual abuse
  • First-degree kidnapping
  • An offender's second Class A felony conviction

Judge Michael Mullins of the Iowa Court of Appeals and Drake University Law School produced a summary of Iowa's criminal sentencing guidelines. Although the summary does not list every crime, it provides thorough information about many crimes and their respective sentences.


The Kansas Sentencing Commission publishes a yearly guide to its sentencing guidelines. It also publishes a sentencing chart for drug- and non-drug-related offenses. Kansas has a three-strikes law applicable to convicted sex offenders.


Kentucky separates felony offenses into four categories. The mandatory minimum sentences for felonies are as follows:

  • Class A felony: 20 years (e.g., kidnapping resulting in serious injury; rape of a child)
  • Class B felony: 10 years (e.g., first-degree assault; kidnapping without serious injury)
  • Class C felony: five years (e.g., second-degree assault; second-degree burglary)
  • Class D felony: one year (e.g., third-degree assault; third-degree burglary)

Kentucky also has a separate classification for capital offenses.


The Louisiana Sentencing Commission develops and periodically reviews the state's sentencing guidelines. Louisiana publishes a sentencing guidelines table. A court generally must sentence a convicted person to the minimum mandatory sentence unless special circumstances arise. For example, if the defendant entered a plea bargain in exchange for a lighter sentence, the court may sentence them accordingly. Louisiana has a three-strikes law.


Maine imposes mandatory minimum sentences for felonies involving firearms and drug trafficking. For using a firearm against another person, the minimum sentences are as follows:

  • Class A crime: Four years
  • Class B crime: Two years
  • Class C crime: One year

The same classes and sentence lengths apply to drug trafficking as well. The sentencing judge may sentence someone to less than the mandatory minimum sentence if:

  • The mandatory minimum sentence would result in "substantial injustice" to the convicted person
  • Sentencing them to a shorter sentence would not adversely affect public safety

A judge may also consider whether a shorter sentence will or will not adversely affect the state's mandatory minimum sentencing deterrence policy.


Maryland's Legislature created the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy in 1998. There are voluntary sentencing guidelines for felonies. Sentences generally are not subject to appellate review. The Commission publishes a sentencing guidelines manual. It also provides a chart detailing its mandatory minimum sentences. Maryland has a three-strikes law.


The Massachusetts Sentencing Commission provides information about its sentencing guidelines online. It also provides a sentencing guidelines grid for quick reference. Massachusetts has presumptive sentencing guidelines for felonies and misdemeanors. Sentencing judges may only deviate from the guidelines in exceptional circumstances. Massachusetts has a three-strikes law.


Michigan joined the National Association of Sentencing Commissions in 1999. Michigan published a sentencing guidelines handbook in 2021. The state employs presumptive guidelines for felonies. Judges can depart from the minimum sentencing guidelines. State law authorizes some appellate review. The state also maintains a restricted parole system. Michigan's Supreme Court noted that the Blakely decision did not affect the state's sentencing scheme.


Minnesota provides several resources explaining and articulating its sentencing guidelines. The state engages in presumptive sentencing. Sentencing judges may go outside the guidelines if there are compelling circumstances. The state has mandatory minimum sentences for certain types of felonies. First-degree murder, for example, carries a mandatory life sentence.


Mississippi does not have sentencing guidelines. Its laws set out punishments and prison sentences. Therefore, judges have the discretion to sentence someone up to the statutory maximum sentence. Mississippi generally imposes the maximum sentence for habitual offenders. People can appeal their sentence, but the appellate court will not overturn it unless it is "manifestly disproportionate" to their crimes.


The Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission periodically reviews the state's sentencing guidelines. The state offers a prison-time calculator on its website, which includes minimum and maximum incarceration periods. Missouri allows for parole after prisoners serve a percentage of their prison sentence.


Montana law sets out mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses, such as deliberate homicide and rape. Most crimes, however, do not impose mandatory minimum sentences. The state's policy is to punish convicted people in a fashion "commensurate with the nature and degree of harm caused by the offense." Montana has a three-strikes law.


Nebraska has codified its crimes and resultant punishments. It differentiates the classes of crimes by the punishment the court may impose. For a Class I felony conviction, the court imposes the death penalty. For a Class IA felony, the court imposes a life sentence. The minimum mandatory sentence for a Class IB felony is 20 years imprisonment; the maximum is life imprisonment.


Nevada's Department of Sentencing Policy assists Nevada's Sentencing Commission in recommending sentencing policy to the state's lawmakers. The state offers a guide on how to calculate a potential prison sentence. Nevada splits its felonies and possible punishments into five categories as follows:

  • Category A: Death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole
  • Category B: One to 20 years
  • Category C: One to five years
  • Category D: One to four years
  • Category E: Probation, a suspended sentence, or a one-year sentence in county jail

Judges consider these categories and the relevant state statutes when formulating a person's prison sentence. Nevada also has a "40% rule." If the maximum sentence for a crime is 10 years, the minimum sentence cannot exceed four years (40% of 10 years). Nevada has a variation of the three-strikes law.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire divides felonies into three categories. These categories are as follows:

Some felonies carry mandatory minimum sentences. For example, someone convicted of sex trafficking a minor faces a seven-year minimum sentence. Other crimes that impose mandatory minimum sentences include:

  • Felonious use of a firearm (second or subsequent offense)
  • Felonies involving the use of a deadly weapon, and the deadly weapon they use is a firearm

first-degree murder conviction also carries a minimum sentence.

New Jersey

New Jersey publishes a manual explaining its sentencing guidelines. One of New Jersey's sentencing goals is uniformity among sentences. Judges may generally downgrade an offense when mitigating factors outweigh aggravating factors. Sentencing judges may also consider whether a downgrade is appropriate based on the interests of justice.

New Jersey imposes mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes. For example, someone convicted of first-degree murder must serve at least 30 years (up to life imprisonment). Kidnapping and sexually assaulting a minor carries a mandatory 25-year sentence. New Jersey has a three-strikes law.

New Mexico

New Mexico classifies its felonies into five categories as follows:

New Mexico's Criminal Code specifies a crime's degree and maximum sentence. Unless the statute says otherwise, the listed sentence is the maximum possible sentence. The court may consider aggravating and mitigating factors at the sentencing hearing. Anyone convicted of first-degree murder receives a mandatory life sentence. New Mexico has a three-strikes law.

New York

New York classifies its felonies into five different categories. The categories and maximum sentences are as follows:

  • Class A: Life imprisonment
  • Class B: 25 years
  • Class C: 15 years
  • Class D: Seven years
  • Class E: Four years

The New York State Permanent Commission on Sentencing evaluates the state's sentencing laws and policies. It also recommends reforms to the sentencing policies. New York has a three-strikes law.

North Carolina

North Carolina publishes a chart with maximum and mandatory minimum sentences for felonies. It also publishes other charts regarding sex offenses and misdemeanors. The Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission reviews and recommends revisions to the state's sentencing policy. In 2005, the North Carolina Legislature passed a statute ensuring that the state's sentencing laws conformed with Blakely. North Carolina has a three-strikes law.

North Dakota

North Dakota law sets out criminal offenses and their resultant criminal sentences. The court cannot impose a mandatory minimum sentence unless the statute says otherwise. Moreover, If the law mandates a minimum sentence, the sentencing judge may depart from it. Factors the court considers when departing from the minimum sentence include:

  • The crime's nature
  • The defendant's history and character
  • The defendant's chances of successful rehabilitation

The court must find a compelling reason to depart from the mandatory minimum sentence. For example, if the sentence is unnecessary to protect the public or if it would be unjust to punish a particular defendant based on their circumstances. North Dakota has a three-strikes law.


The Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission published a Felony Sentencing Guide in 2024. Ohio mandates a life sentence following a conviction for aggravated murder. Sometimes, the convicted person may be eligible for parole after serving 20 years of their life sentence.

If a criminal offense does not mandate a minimum sentence, the court may place someone under court or community supervision rather than incarcerate them. If the convicted person violates the conditions of supervision, the court may send them to jail or prison.


Oklahoma has presumptive sentencing guidelines for most felonies. The state has retained a limited parole system. Oklahoma law requires a person convicted of a violent crime or sex offense to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they become eligible for parole. Oklahoma does not have an active sentencing commission.


Oregon has presumptive guidelines for felonies with moderate appellate review. In 2005, the Oregon Legislature approved a statute ensuring its sentencing scheme conformed with Blakely.

The state published a chart setting out its sentencing guidelines. The chart also describes the state's 11 classifications of crimes.

The sentencing judge considers the defendant's criminal history and the crime's severity in their determination. The state requires prisoners to serve at least 80% of their sentence before they are eligible for parole.


Pennsylvania engages in "indeterminate sentencing." This means a sentencing judge may sentence someone up to the statutory maximum. Judges also may consider aggravating and mitigating factors. The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing adopts sentencing guidelines. The state also provides a chart describing its sentencing guidelines. Its guidelines impose minimum sentences based on a person's criminal history and the severity of their charged offense. Pennsylvania has a three-strikes law.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island provides a list of its sentencing standards and benchmarks. The Superior Court Justices propose presumptive sentences each year. Those standards take effect if the Rhode Island Supreme Court approves them.

Rhode Island's standards allow sentencing judges to consider aggravating and mitigating factors. This allows sentencing judges to consider a crime's unique circumstances. Judges may depart from the presumptive sentence if "substantial and compelling circumstances exist" to warrant a departure.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Sentencing Guidelines Commission recommends felony sentencing guidelines. Every year, the Commission must submit a criminal justice report with a plan to prevent jail and prison overcrowding. They also must provide information and conduct research regarding the guidelines. The state publishes a bench book that lists every crime and possible punishment. South Carolina has a three-strikes law.

South Dakota

South Dakota classifies its felonies into the following categories:

  • Class A: Mandatory death penalty or life imprisonment
  • Class B: Mandatory life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine
  • Class C: Life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine
  • Class 1: Up to 50 years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine
  • Class 2: Up to 25 years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine
  • Class 3: Up to 15 years imprisonment and a $30,000 fine
  • Class 4: Up to 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine
  • Class 5: Up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine
  • Class 6: Up to two years imprisonment and a $4,000 fine

South Dakota has laws that enhance punishments for habitual offenders. If someone has one or two prior felony convictions, the sentencing judge may enhance a felony by one class. The enhancement cannot exceed the Class C felony sentence. If they have three prior felony convictions, including a violent felony, the judge can enhance a sentence to a Class C felony.


The Tennessee Criminal Sentencing Reform Act of 1989 changed many aspects of the state's criminal code. The Tennesse Sentencing Commission proposed a new criminal code and sentencing laws. The state classifies felonies by their severity. In 2022, Tennessee passed the Truth in Sentencing law. The law requires most prisoners to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they are eligible for parole. Tennessee has a three-strikes law.

Tennessee's sentencing guidelines account for prior felony convictions. Sentencing judges can enhance or depart from the guidelines based on aggravating and mitigating factors.


The Attorney General of Texas published a guide in 2018 detailing criminal offenses and their punishment ranges. The University of Texas also published a guide to criminal sentencing and maximum punishments.

The Texas Penal Code sets the punishments for each offense. The state has minimum mandatory sentences for some crimes. For example, a conviction for a capital felony results in either the death penalty or life imprisonment. Texas has a three-strikes law.


The Judicial Branch of Utah publishes a quick reference guide regarding Utah's Sentence and Release Guidelines. It provides information about felonies, misdemeanors, and factors sentencing judges may consider in their sentencing decisions. The Utah Sentencing Commission provides advice to the Legislature and governor on sentencing. It also develops the state's sentencing guidelines. Utah has a three-strikes law.


The Vermont Sentencing Commission oversees criminal sentencing in the state. It reviews sentencing practices and proposes amendments to the Legislature. Vermont does not have the death penalty; its most severe sentence is a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

In Vermont, any criminal offense that imposes life imprisonment or a sentence longer than two years is a felony. Any other crime is a misdemeanor. Title 13 of the Virginia Statutes defines its crimes and maximum and minimum sentences. Vermont has a three-strikes law.


The Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission provides sentencing guidelines and recommendations for Circuit Court Judges to use in sentencing. It provides sentencing worksheets for free online. Virginia's guidelines provide sentencing judges with discretion in sentencing. Generally, parties may not appeal a sentence. Virginia has a three-strikes law.


The Adult Sentencing Guidelines Manual provides information about felony sentencing rules and procedures in Washington. The state passed the Sentencing Reform Act of 1981, overhauling its sentencing guidelines. Washington imposes mandatory minimum sentences for the following crimes:

  • First-degree murder: At least 20 years imprisonment
  • First-degree assault of a child using deadly force: At least five years imprisonment
  • First-degree rape: At least five years imprisonment
  • Sexually violent predator escape: At least 60 months imprisonment
  • Aggravated first-degree murder (convicted murdered younger than 18 years old): At least 25 years imprisonment

Washington does not currently have a sentencing commission. In 2005, the Washington Legislature approved a statute ensuring the state sentencing scheme conformed with Blakely.

West Virginia

West Virginia created the West Virginia Sentencing Commission in 2020. Its goal is to review and analyze the state's sentencing system. West Virginia provides for mandatory minimum sentencing. For example, someone convicted of first-degree murder receives a life sentence. A second-degree murder conviction mandates at least 10 years of imprisonment. A prisoner generally is not eligible for supervised release until they serve at least the minimum sentence.


Wisconsin separates its felonies into nine different categories. The categories and maximum sentences are as follows:

  • Class A: Mandatory life imprisonment
  • Class B: 60 years
  • Class C: 40 years
  • Class D: 25 years
  • Class E: 15 years
  • Class F: 12.5 years
  • Class G: 10 years
  • Class H: Six years
  • Class I: Three years and six months

Sentencing judges may allow prisoners to apply for supervised release after serving a portion of their sentence. However, Wisconsin's Truth in Sentencing law typically requires prisoners to serve their entire sentence. The court may then release them on extended supervision. Extended supervision involves a Wisconsin Department of Corrections officer supervising the convicted person. Wisconsin has a three-strikes law.


The Wyoming Constitution requires sentencing judges to consider a crime's circumstances and the convicted person's character when determining a sentence. Wyoming uses indeterminate sentencing. This means the sentencing judge sets a maximum and minimum prison sentence instead of a definite one.

Courts may also place prisoners on probation unless the crime mandates a life sentence. A parole board may also release prisoners on parole unless their sentence involves life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Talk to an Attorney to Learn More About State Sentencing Laws

Sentencing is determined at the state level, unless you're charged with a federal crime. If you've been charged with a crime and want to learn about the possible sentence, contact a local criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.

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