It’s illegal to convict & sentence secretly to the accused, or to sentence outside defined parameter. Is it legal for a judge to sentence a ridiculous type or amount of punishment, or do they have to follow per-authorized options? - Avvo.com Quoting from Avvo.com from lawyers on the question "Is it legal for a judge to sentence a ridiculous type or amount of punishment, or do they have to follow per-authorized options? For example, "this type of punishment is legal to sentence for that illegal act" & "that type of punishment is illegal to sentence for that illegal act". Does this kind of safety exists in the laws? Is it legal or illegal for a judge to sentence outside the punishments she is legally allowed to sentence?" Lawyer 1: "If you mean jail time, each crime has a maximum sentence depending on what level crime it is." Lawyer 2: "The Penal Law defines the parameters within which a judge can sentence a defendant. It provides whether jail is mandatory or optional, and the minimum and maximum amount which can be given." Lawyer 3: "The type of crime will have it's own sentencing maximums set by statute. The judge can sentence you up to the maximum if she believes the facts & circumstances warrant it. If you're next court date is for sentencing, I'm sure you already realized your mistake in defending a criminal charge without one. If that's the case, hire a lawyer immediately!" Is it legal for a law to process an accusation & convict me secretly without me knowing accusation, trial, sentencing happening? - Avvo.com Quoting from Avvo.com from lawyers on the question "Is it legal for a law to process an accusation & convict me secretly without me knowing accusation, trial, sentencing happening? Is that even legally valid? I thought there were laws on False Imprisonment, Fair Trial, etc." Lawyer 1: "Likely, you were notified and either ignored the summonses or didn't get them. Either way, nobody in this country is charged, tried, and convicted in secret." Lawyer 2: "You are entitled to know the charges against you and be present for all material parts of your case." Lawyer 3: "The law provides for secret proceedings to indict or charge a defendant, but convicting someone requires a public trial." Lawyer 4: "You have a right to be present for all court hearings after you're charged. However, if you have a problem showing up, sometimes the judge will give a "Parker" warning that basically says they can proceed without you. Depending on the facts you may or may not have a legitimate claim to set aside the conviction. You should discuss this with your lawyer."