Indicates whether the accused entered a plea agreement with the prosecutor in exchange for a reduced penalty, or provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or prosecution.
Refers to circumstances that reduce the defendant’s level of responsibility or moral culpability for the offence, such as acting under duress or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
The evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that could affect the penalty, such as evidence of the defendant’s previous bad acts or mitigating factors such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the accused’s military or public service or other achievements that may be relevant to sentencing.
Refers to the specific laws, policies and case law in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed that may affect the sentence, such as mandatory minimum sentences, sentencing guidelines or prevailing community views on punishment.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with the police and other authorities in investigating and prosecuting his own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation may demonstrate acceptance of responsibility and be considered by the court as a mitigating factor.
The defendant’s age and any physical or mental health problems may be relevant to the court in determining an appropriate sentence. For example, an elderly defendant or one with a serious health problem may be sentenced more leniently.
The defendant’s role in the commission of the offence may affect his or her sentence A principal or co-conspirator may receive a more severe sentence than an accomplice or someone who played a minor role.
A defendant’s financial resources and ability to pay fines or other financial penalties may be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence. The court may consider the defendant’s ability to pay restitution to the victim(s) and/or fines to the state.
Sentencing may be influenced by the aim of deterring the defendant and others from committing similar offences in the future. A severe sentence may act as a deterrent, whereas a more lenient sentence may not have the same effect.
Public safety and protection is a key consideration in sentencing. A defendant who poses a significant threat to public safety may be sentenced more severely to ensure they cannot commit further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or ability to be successfully treated or trained so as not to offend again, may be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence A defendant who appears likely to be successfully rehabilitated may be given a lighter sentence.
Sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences set by state or federal law may be a factor in the determination of a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences, although it may have some discretion in specific cases.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the crime or defendant’s conduct that increase the severity of the sentence, while mitigating circumstances are elements that decrease the severity of the sentence, often specified by state or federal law.
Public opinion and judges’ or sentencers’ views may influence perceptions of harshness of a particular penalty.
The extent to which the accused assisted law enforcement or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the crime may be taken into account as a sentencing factor.
The age, mental and physical health of the defendant may be relevant in determining the sentence, as these factors may affect the defendant’s ability to understand the consequences of their actions and their potential for rehabilitation.
Their role in committing an offence is also taken into account, with those with leadership or more active roles often receiving harsher penalties.
This factor refers to the specific details and events surrounding the offence, including method and aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s history of previous convictions.
It takes into account a defendants’ whole background, including education, employment, family circumstances and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers whether the accused has shown remorse for the offence, including apology or remorse.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial harm that the victim(s) have suffered as a result of the crime and the impact of the crime on their lives.