These guidelines are very important because all judges must take these guidelines into consideration when determining what sentence is appropriate. These guidelines look at two things. First, they look at the severity of the offense. All offenses have an “Offense Gravity Score” or “OGS” of 1 through 14. 1 is the lowest score and is used for things like minor theft cases, possession of a small amount of marijuana and some DUI offenses. 14 is obviously the highest and is used for 3rd Degree Murder and Rape. All other offense fall somewhere between 1 and 14. Second, they look at a person’s “prior record score”. The prior record score is calculated by looking at what the person has been convicted of in the past. A person who has no prior record has a prior record score of 0. The highest numerical prior record score is a 5. However, there are two categories above a 5 and they are for “Repeat Felony Offender” or “RFEL” and “Repeat Violent Offender Category” or “REVOC”. Once you know the Offense Gravity Score and a person Prior Record Score you simply look at the sentencing chart to figure out what an appropriate sentence is most likely going to be.
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