Sentencing

If a jury or judge finds that the defendant’s guilt has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt, a hearing will be held to determine the appropriate punishment under the law.  While a jury may not suspend any portion of the sentence imposed, a judge generally has the power to suspend any portion of the penalty.  Judges also receive sentencing guidelines recommending a range of penalties based on the defendant’s prior criminal history, the instant offense, as well as several other factors.  Juries are not permitted to consider such guidelines.  (§19.2-295 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+19.2-295)