@anamur-- Even when a judge doesn't decide to punish heavily, there are cases when certain penalties are inevitable. For example, if someone has committed theft, which is a class C misdemeanor, civil demand requires that the criminal reimburse the merchandise owner for the loss. And that amount, whatever it may be, will have to be paid in addition to any fine the judge orders.
In addition to this, the judge might also order probation and or community service. And no matter what the punishment is, a class C misdemeanor will always be included in the criminal record. In a way, that's punishment as well.