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Alternative Sentencing Denied in Vehicular Assault Case

Alternative sentencing, which involves suspension of a jail or prison sentence and some form of community supervision as an alternative to incarceration, is available in Tennessee for most criminal sentences of ten years or less. When not imposed as part of a plea agreement approved by the trial court, the trial court must makes findings and determine whether to impose an alternative sentence or to impose a sentence of confinement. There are statutory and case law guidelines and criteria which trial courts consider in determining whether to impose an alternative sentence or confinement. For criminal convictions which are eligible for alternative sentencing, the sentencing court has the discretion to decide how the sentence is served. These decisions are subject to appeal, in which case the appellate court reviews to determine whether the lower court abused its discretion in imposing the challenged sentence. In the recent case of State v. Crowder, M2012-02396-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-3-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court decision to deny alternative sentencing and impose confinement for a defendant convicted of vehicular assault.

Alternative Sentencing Denied in Vehicular Assault Case

Alternative sentencing, which involves suspension of a jail or prison sentence and some form of community supervision as an alternative to incarceration, is available in Tennessee for most criminal sentences of ten years or less. When not imposed as part of a plea agreement approved by the trial court, the trial court must makes findings and determine whether to impose an alternative sentence or to impose a sentence of confinement. There are statutory and case law guidelines and criteria which trial courts consider in determining whether to impose an alternative sentence or confinement. For criminal convictions which are eligible for alternative sentencing, the sentencing court has the discretion to decide how the sentence is served. These decisions are subject to appeal, in which case the appellate court reviews to determine whether the lower court abused its discretion in imposing the challenged sentence. In the recent case of State v. Crowder, M2012-02396-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-3-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court decision to deny alternative sentencing and impose confinement for a defendant convicted of vehicular assault.

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