Imposing an incarceration sentence within the sentencing guidelines range.

To impose an incarcerative sentence within the sentencing guidelines range:

  • Identify the appropriate sentencing guidelines grid cell.
  • Select the maximum (NMT) sentence from within the sentencing guidelines range presented in the applicable grid cell.
  • The minimum, or Not Less Than (NLT), sentence will automatically be set at two-thirds of the maximum sentence. This applies to sentences to Houses of Correction and State Prison.

If the (NMT) sentence is selected from the appropriate sentencing guidelines range on the grid, the sentence will be within the guidelines and no explanation is necessary. The Sentencing Chart in Attachment C may be helpful in selecting sentences.

When appropriate a judge should order fines or restitution or both as part of any sentence. Restitution to the victim should be a priority of the judge at the time of sentencing.


  • Accommodating District Court Jurisdiction

In cases where a defendant in the district court falls into a cell on the sentencing guidelines grid where the sentencing guidelines range exceeds the district court sentencing jurisdiction, the sentencing guidelines range shall revert to an incarceration zone range of 20 to 30 months, and it shall not constitute a departure for a district court judge to impose a sentence of incarceration from within the 20 to 30 month range.

Illustration 6: A defendant with no prior convictions is found guilty in the District Court of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (significant injury), a level 6 offense. However, the prescribed guideline range at level 6 for criminal history group A (No/Minor Record) is 40 to 60 months, beyond the district courts’ sentencing jurisdiction (i.e., greater than 2 1/2 years). In such a case the sentencing guidelines range would revert to an incarceration zone range of 20 to 30 months to enable the District Court judge to impose a sentence. A Not More Than (NMT) sentence within the 20 to 30 month sentencing range would not constitute a departure.


Attachment A pdf format of Attachment A - Level of Injury Scale
Attachment B pdf format of Attachment B - Mini Master Crime List
Attachment C pdf format of Attachment C - Sentencing Chart
Attachment D pdf format of Attachment D - Mitigating and Aggravating Factors
Guideline Sentence Form pdf format of sentform.pdf
Criminal History Groups
Sentencing Guidelines Grid