Refers to whether the defendant entered into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence, or 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 blameworthiness for the offence, such as acting under duress or coercion or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
This 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 by the defendant or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military service, public service or other achievements relevant to sentencing.
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 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 determining an appropriate sentence. The court may consider the defendant’s ability to pay restitution to the victim(s) and/or fines to the state.
Sentencing may be influenced by the aim of deterring the accused 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.
Public safety and protection is a key consideration in sentencing A defendant who poses a significant threat to public safety may be sentenced more severely to ensure he cannot commit further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or ability to be successfully treated or trained so that he or she will not reoffend, may be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence. A defendant who appears to have a high likelihood 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 the determination of a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences, although it may have some discretion in specific 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 judges’ or sentencers’ views may influence perceptions of harshness of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the defendant has assisted the police or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the offence may be taken into account in sentencing him.
Age, mental and physical health of an accused person may be relevant to sentencing, as these factors may affect his or her ability to understand consequences of his or her actions and his or her capacity for rehabilitation.
The defendant’s role in the commission of the offence may also be taken into account. Those who played a leading or more active role often receive a more severe sentence.
This factor relates to the specific details and events surrounding the commission of the offence, including the means used and the extenuating and mitigating facts.
This factor considers the defendant’s criminal history, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s previous sentences.
This factor is a consideration of the defendant’s background as a whole, including education, employment, family situation and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers the accused’s expression of remorse for the crime committed, including apology or expression of regret.
This factor is an assessment of the physical, emotional and financial harm that the victim(s) have suffered as a result of the crime and the impact of the crime on their lives.