Whether the accused entered a plea agreement with the prosecutor in exchange for a reduced penalty, or whether the accused provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or proceedings.
Refers to circumstances that may reduce the responsibility or moral culpability of the accused, such as acting under duress or coercion or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
This is the evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that can affect the penalty, such as evidence of the accused’s previous criminal record or mitigating factors such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military service, public service, or other achievements that may be relevant to the sentence.
For example, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines, or community sentencing attitudes.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation may demonstrate an acceptance of responsibility and may be considered by the court as a mitigating factor.
Age and any physical or mental health problems may also play a role in a court deciding on a suitable sentence.
The defendant’s role in the commission of the offence may affect their sentence. A principal or a conspirator may receive a more severe sentence than a collaborator or someone who played a lesser role.
A defendant’s financial resources and ability to pay fines or other financial penalties may be considered 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 can be influenced by the aim to deter the defendant and others from committing similar crimes in the future. A harsh sentence may act as a deterrent, while a more lenient sentence may not have the same effect.
The safety and protection of the public is an important consideration in sentencing. If an offender poses a significant threat to public safety, a harsher sentence may be imposed in order to prevent him or her from committing further offences.
The potential of the defendant to be rehabilitated, or the ability to be successfully treated or trained so as not to reoffend, may be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence A defendant who appears to have a high likelihood of being successfully rehabilitated may be sentenced more leniently.
Sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums set by state or federal law may be a factor in determining a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimums, though it may have some discretion in certain cases.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the crime or the defendant’s conduct that increase the severity of the sentence, while mitigating circumstances are elements that decrease the severity of the sentence. These factors are often specified in state or federal law.
Community and judicial views on the appropriate punishment for a particular offence can be a factor in sentencing Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel can influence the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The degree to which the accused assisted law enforcement or other authorities to investigate or prosecute the crime may influence the sentence.
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 defendant’s role in committing the offence may also be considered, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving harsher sentences.
This factor refers to the specific details and events surrounding the offence committed, including the method used and any extenuating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor considers the defendant’s previous criminal history, including any previous convictions, as well as the defendant’s previous sentencing history.
This factor takes into account the overall background of the accused, including education, employment, family circumstances and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers the defendant’s demonstrated remorse for the crime committed, including apologies or expressions of regret.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial harm suffered by the victims/s by virtue of the crime and how the crime impacted on the victims/s life.