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 prosecution.
Refers to circumstances that may diminish 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 greater harm.
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.
Refers to the accused’s military or public service or other achievements that may be relevant to sentencing him or her.
For example, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines, or prevailing community attitudes towards punishment.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation can demonstrate 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 problem may be sentenced more leniently.
Sentencing may be harsher than that of accomplices or people who played minor roles.
The court may consider the ability of the accused to make restitution to the victims or to the State.
Sentences 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 rehabilitation potential, or ability to be successfully treated or trained not to reoffend, may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence. A defendant who appears likely to be 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 minimums, although it may have some discretion in certain cases.
Aggravation is a factor in the offense or conduct which increases the penalty, whereas mitigation is a factor which decreases 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 the investigation or prosecution of the offence may be taken into account as a sentencing factor.
Age, mental and physical health of an accused person are relevant to sentencing because they affect his or her ability to understand consequences of his or her actions and his or her ability to reform.
The role of the defendant 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 refers to the specific details and events surrounding the crime committed, including the method used and any extenuating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor considers the defendant’s criminal history, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s history of previous convictions.
This factor considers the overall background of the accused, including education, employment, family background and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s expression of remorse for the crime committed, including any 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.