Refers to whether the defendant entered into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence, or provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or prosecution of the case.
Refers to circumstances, such as acting under duress or coercion or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm, that may reduce the defendant’s degree of responsibility or moral culpability for the offence.
Refers to the evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may affect the sentence, such as evidence of the defendant’s previous bad acts or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military, public service or other achievements relevant to sentencing.
For example, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines, or prevailing community attitudes towards punishing.
The extent to which the accused cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his own case may be a factor in sentencing.
The age of the defendant and any physical or mental health problems may be relevant to the court in determining an appropriate sentence – for example, an older defendant or one with a serious health problem may be given a more lenient sentence.
The role played by the accused in committing the offence may affect his or her sentence. A principal or coconspirator may receive a more severe sentence than an accomplice or someone playing 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 whether a defendant has the ability to pay restitution to the victim(s) and/or fines to the state.
Sentences can be influenced by the aim to deter the defendant and others from committing similar offences in the future.
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 potential of the accused to be rehabilitated, or to be successfully treated or trained so as not to reoffend, may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence A defendant who appears likely to be successfully rehabilitated may be sentenced less severely.
Sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences set by state or federal law may be a factor in determining a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences, although it may have some discretion in certain cases.
Aggravation is a factor in the offense or in the conduct of the offender which increases the penalty, whereas mitigation is a factor which reduces the penalty.
Community and judicial views on the appropriate punishment for a particular crime can be a factor in determining a sentence Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel can influence the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the defendant has assisted the police or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the offence may be taken into account in sentencing him.
The defendant’s age, mental health and physical health may be relevant to the sentencing decision, as these factors may have an impact on the defendant’s ability to understand the consequences of their actions and their potential for rehabilitation.
The role of the defendant in committing the crime may also be taken into account, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving a more severe sentence.
This factor refers to the specific details and events surrounding the offence committed, including the method used and any extenuating or attenuating circumstances.
This factor considers the previous criminal history of the accused, including any previous convictions, and the history of previous sentences.
This factor takes into account the whole background of the defendant, including education, employment, family situation and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers the defendant’s demonstration of remorse for the crime committed, including any apology or expression of regret.
This assesses the physical, emotional and economic damage caused by the offence.