Indicates whether the accused reached 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 proceedings.
Refers to circumstances, such as acting under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm, which may reduce the defendant’s degree of responsibility or moral culpability for the offence.
Refers to the evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may have an impact on the sentence, such as evidence of previous bad acts committed by the defendant or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Indicates the military service, public service or other merits which could affect the conviction.
Indicates the specific legislation, policies and case law in the jurisdiction where the offence has been committed that might affect the sentence, for example, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines or prevailing community attitudes towards punishment.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with the police and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his 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.
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 someone who helped or played a minor role.
A defendant’s financial resources and ability to pay fines or other financial penalties may be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence. The court may consider whether a defendant has the ability to pay compensation to the victim(s) 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, whereas a more lenient sentence may not have the same effect.
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 crimes.
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 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 minimums, although it may have some discretion in certain cases.
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.
Public opinion and judges’ or sentencers’ views may influence perceptions of how severe a particular penalty is.
The extent to which the defendant has assisted law enforcement or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the crime may be considered as a sentencing factor.
The defendant’s age, mental health and physical health may be relevant to the sentencing decision because these factors may have an impact on the defendant’s ability to understand the consequences of their actions and their potential for rehabilitation.
The role played by the defendant 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 relates to the specific details and events surrounding the commission of the offence, including the means used and the extenuating and attenuating factors.
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 considers the defendant’s general background, including education, employment, family situation and drug/alcohol history.
This factor considers the defendant’s expression 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 its impact on the life of the victims.