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 defendant’s responsibility or moral culpability for the offence, such as acting under duress or coercion, or being necessary to prevent greater harm.
Refers to evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may affect the sentence, such as evidence of past bad acts committed by the accused, or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Indicates military service, public service or other accomplishments which could affect the conviction.
Refers to specific laws, policies and precedents in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed that may affect sentencing, 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 their own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation may demonstrate acceptance of responsibility and may be considered by the court as a mitigating factor.
Age and any physical or mental health problems may play a role in a court deciding on a suitable sentence, e.g. a lesser sentence may apply to a person who is elderly or has a serious health problem.
Sentencing may be harsher than that of accomplices or those who played minor roles.
The financial resources and ability of the accused to pay fines or other financial penalties may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence. The court may consider the ability of the accused to pay restitution to the victims and/or fines to the State.
Sentencing may be influenced by the aim of deterring the defendant and others from committing similar offences in the future – a severe 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. A defendant who poses a significant threat to public safety may be sentenced more severely to ensure that he or she is unable to commit further offences.
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 probability of successful rehabilitation may be sentenced more leniently.
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 has some discretion in a particular case.
Statutory aggravators are elements of the crime or the defendant’s conduct that increase the penalty, while statutory mitigators are elements that decrease the penalty.
Community and judicial views on the appropriate punishment for a particular offence may be a factor in determining a sentence. Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel may 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 and physical health may be relevant to sentencing because they 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 offence may also be considered, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving more severe sentences.
This factor refers to the specific details and events surrounding the offence that was committed, including the method used and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances that may exist.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s history of previous sentences.
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 expression of remorse for the crime committed. This includes any apologies or expressions of regret.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial harm suffered by the victim(s) as a result of the offence and the impact the offence has had on their lives.