Discharge Sentence: Understanding the Consequences





Discharge Sentence: Understanding the Consequences

A conditional discharge is a finding of guilt and is not a criminal conviction. This means that a conditional discharge is temporary and not a permanent entry on the criminal record. The conditions of a conditional discharge always come in a probation order that can be in effect from one to three years. Once the probation order is completed, a conditional discharge stays on an offender’s record for three years.

Factors That Affect Sentencing

Indicates whether the accused made an agreement with the prosecutor to admit guilt in exchange for a reduced sentence, or whether the accused provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or prosecution.
Refers to circumstances that may lessen 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.
Refers to evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may affect the sentence, such as evidence of prior bad acts committed by the accused, or mitigating circumstances 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 imposed.
Refers to the specific laws, policies and case law in the jurisdiction in which 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 co-operated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his own case may be a factor in sentencing. Co-operation may demonstrate an 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 condition 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 a coconspirator may face 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 the determination of an appropriate sentence.The court may have regard to a defendant’s ability to pay restitution to the victim(s) and/or fines to the state.
The sentence can 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 taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence. A defendant who appears to have a high probability of successful rehabilitation may be sentenced more leniently.
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 in the offense or conduct of the offender which reduces the penalty.
Public opinion and the views of judges or sentencers may influence the perception of the gravity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the defendant has assisted the police or other authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the offence may be taken into account as a factor in the sentencing decision.
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 his or her actions and on the defendant’s potential for rehabilitation.
The role of the accused in the commission of the crime may also be taken into account, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving harsher punishments.
This factor relates to specific details and events surrounding the offence, including method used and aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor considers the defendant’s criminal history, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s previous sentences.
This factor considers the overall background of the accused, including education, employment, family circumstances, and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers the extent to which the accused has shown remorse for the offence, including apology or remorse.
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.

Contact Us

Been Arrested or Charged with A Criminal Offence? Get Help Now!

If you have been arrested or need assistance with a criminal matter, contact me to discuss your case.

Jeffrey I Reisman
Criminal Defence Lawyer
1000 Finch Ave. West, Suite 705 A
Toronto, ON M3J 2V5

Phone: 647-370-4282
Email: [email protected]

24/7 Availability And Client Support

20 Years Of Criminal Defence Experience