Who ultimately decides punishment in a case?


In most cases, the prosecutor will present a sentencing offer, which could be prison time or probation. This decision is based on a full evaluation of the applicable laws and facts of the case, including the opinion of the victim or guardian of the victim. 

If the defendant chooses to decline the State's offer, then in some cases they can plea to be sentenced by a judge or exercise their right to a jury trial. If the case goes to trial and the defendant is found guilty by the jury, the defendant may chose to be sentenced by the judge or jury.