Refers to whether the defendant has entered into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty 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 reduce the defendant’s degree of responsibility or moral culpability for the crime. For example, the defendant acted under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
Means 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 circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military service, public service or other achievements relevant to sentencing.
For example, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines, or community sentencing attitudes.
The extent to which the accused has 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 elderly defendant or one with a serious health problem may be given a more lenient sentence.
The defendant’s role in the commission of the offence may have an impact on his or her sentence. A principal or co-conspirator may be subject to a more severe sentence than an accomplice or someone with 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 the defendant’s ability to pay restitution to the victim(s) 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 sentenced more severely to ensure that they are unable to commit further crimes.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or 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 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 the court 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 statutory 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 crime 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 extent to which the accused has assisted the police or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the offence may be considered 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.
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 aggravator and extenuating factors.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s history of previous sentencing.
This factor is a consideration of the defendant’s overall background, including education, employment, family situation and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers the defendant’s expression of remorse for the offence, including apologies or expressions of regret.
This assesses the physical, emotional and economic damage caused by the offence and its impact on the victims’ life.