Indicates whether the defendant has entered into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence, or whether they have provided information or assistance to the authorities in investigating or prosecuting the case.
Refers to circumstances that reduce the defendant’s level of responsibility or moral culpability for the offence, such as acting under duress or compulsion, or because it was 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 factors such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the accused’s military service, public service or other accomplishments which might have a bearing on the conviction.
For example, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines, or prevailing community attitudes towards punitive measures.
Sentencing may take into account how far an accused has cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in investigating and prosecuting his case.
The age of the accused and any physical or mental health problems may be relevant to the court in determining an appropriate 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 a collaborator or a person who 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 restitution 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 lesser sentence may not.
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 they 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 offend again, may be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence.
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 some cases.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the offence or of the defendant’s conduct that increase the severity of the sentence, while mitigating circumstances are elements that decrease the severity of the sentence. These factors are often specified by state or federal law.
The views of the community and the judiciary on the appropriate punishment for a particular offence can be a factor in determining a sentence 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 assisted law enforcement or other authorities to investigate or prosecute the crime may play a role at sentencing.
The defendant’s age, mental health and physical health may be relevant to the sentencing decision, as these factors may have an impact on the defendant’s ability to understand the consequences of his or her actions and on the defendant’s potential for rehabilitation.
The defendant’s role in committing the offence can also be considered, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving harsher 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 considers the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, as well as the defendant’s history of having been sentenced.
This factor takes into account 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 crime, including any apologies or regrets.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial harm suffered by the victim/s as a result of the crime and how the crime has affected their lives.