Types of Legal Sanctions

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In criminal law, a sanction is defined as a punishment for a criminal offense or civil offense. Sanctions may be monetary, involve jail time, community service or other type of punishment. Sanctions are handed out by judges, juries and in some circumstances by committees. Sanctions are serious types of punishment that may result in permanent criminal records, serious fines and loss of career or licenses.

Criminal Sanctions

This type of criminal sanctioning involves judges or juries punishing an individual for committing a crime. Common sanctions include imprisonment, probation, fines and community service. Judges follow a strict sentencing guideline protocol when sentencing those convicted of a crime. Probation may range from months to years. Fines imposed on people convicted of crimes can range from restitution (to a victim) to thousands of dollars in fees from tickets. Community service hours may be assigned dependent on the crime committed, and the judge may also impose where and when a person performs her community service.

Read More: What Does it Mean When an Attorney Files Sanctions?

Civil Sanctions

Suspension or revocation of business, professional or hobby license are types of civil sanctions, as are restitution and monetary damages. In case of a civil sanction, money is awarded to another party, such as someone the sanctioned person has hurt, wronged or damaged goods. Some cases may involve both civil and criminal sanctions. If a doctor knowingly mistreats a patient, he may be indicted on criminal charges and be sued for monetary damages.

Contempt-of-Court Sanctions

This type of sanction may be either criminal or civil, and the court may order a fine be paid or the accused may be placed in jail. Contempt of court can result from a witness, plaintiff or defendant disrupting court, perjuring themselves in court or any behavior the judge believes to be disrespectful to the court. The individual may not be welcome to enter the court again, may be sent directly to jail or receive a ticket.

Administrative Agency Sanction

This type of sanction is against a corporation and involves an agency not abiding by federal, state and/or local laws. Environmental laws may sanction agencies due to not following environmental laws and regulations. Businesses may be fined large amounts of money and may be ordered to stop conducting business if the behavior is deemed dangerous.

International Sanction

One country may sanction another country if the sanctioning country feels as if another country is being non-compliant with rules of conduct. This sanction may be forceful (military can strike), or non-forceful, with diplomatic efforts, such as severing relations, filing protest with United Nations, cutting off financial ties or creating trade embargoes.