Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child Sentence--the presumptive sentence for someone convicted of Aggravated Sexual abuse of a Child in Utah is 15 years-to-life. Judges often deviate from this presumption, but they must consider mitigating circumstances in order to do so.
Some of the mitigating circumstances a judge may consider when departing from that sentence are an offender's acceptance of responsibility and amenability to treatment, an offender's strong family ties and his stable employment history. A judge may depart and impose 6 or 10 years-to-life instead of 15 years-to-life. A judge does not have discretion, however, to impose less than 6, 10 or 15 years-to-life in aggravated sexual abuse of a child cases because of the minimum-mandatory nature of the sentence.
Six-to-life is still a steep sentence, but it gets a convicted person in front of the Utah Board of Pardons & Parole much earlier than if the judge imposes a 15 to-life-sentence. Once the judge determines whether to impose 6, 10 or 15-to-life in the case, the judge loses jurisdiction of the case. At that point, the Board of Pardons determines the actual time a person will spend in prison.
This is an area of negotiation in cases involving many charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Sometimes prosecutors are willing to dismiss multiple charges in exchange for a plea to one charge of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and to recommend a 6-to-life sentence rather than the presumptive 16-to-life sentence.
If you are being investigated or are charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a child or other child sex case in Salt Lake City, Provo, Logan, Ogden, Bountiful, Vernal or any city in the State of Utah, call me for a free consultation.