Refers to whether the defendant has entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution in exchange for a reduced sentence, or whether the defendant has provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or prosecution of the case.
Refers to circumstances that may diminish the degree of responsibility or moral blameworthiness of the defendant for the offence, such as because he or she acted under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent a greater harm.
Evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecutor and the defence that could affect the penalty, such as evidence of the accused’s previous bad acts or extenuating circumstances, such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the accused’s military or public service or other achievements that may be relevant to sentencing him or her.
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 law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation can demonstrate acceptance of responsibility and may be considered by the court as a mitigating factor.
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 sentenced more leniently.
Sentencing may be harsher than that of accomplices or people who played minor roles.
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 or victims and/or fines to the state.
The sentence may be influenced by the aim to deter the defendant and others from committing similar offences in the future.
The safety and protection of the public is a key consideration in sentencing. A defendant who poses a significant threat to public safety may be given a more severe sentence to ensure that he or she is not able to commit further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or ability to be successfully treated or trained 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 minimums established by state or federal law may be a factor in determining a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimums, but the court has some discretion in a particular case.
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 the views of judges or sentencers may influence the perception of the seriousness of a particular sentence.
A sentencing factor that may be considered is the extent to which the defendant assisted law enforcement or other authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the offence.
The age, mental and physical health of the accused may be relevant in determining the sentence, as these factors may affect the accused’s ability to understand the consequences of his or her actions and the potential for rehabilitation.
The defendant’s role in committing the crime may also be taken into account, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving more severe penalties.
This factor relates to the specific details and events surrounding the commission of the offence, including the means used and the extenuating and mitigating factors.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s history of previous convictions.
This factor takes into account the overall circumstances of the accused, including education, employment, family circumstances and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s demonstration of remorse for the crime committed, including any apologies or expressions of regret.
This assesses the physical, emotional and economic damage caused by the offence and the impact of the offence on the victims’ life.