Indicates 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 lessen 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 evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may affect the sentence, such as evidence of prior bad acts committed by the accused, or mitigating factors such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military service, public service or other achievements that may be relevant to their sentence.
Indicates the specific laws, policies and case law in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed that may affect the sentence, such as mandatory minimum sentences, sentencing guidelines or prevailing community views about punishment.
Sentencing may take into account how well you have cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in investigating and prosecuting your case.
The defendant’s age 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 given a lighter sentence.
The role played by the defendant in the commission of the offence may have an impact on the sentence – a principal or a co-conspirator may receive a more severe sentence than an accomplice or someone who played a minor role.
A defendant’s financial resources and ability to pay fines or other financial penalties may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence. The court may consider a defendant’s ability to pay restitution to the victim or victims and/or fines to the state.
Sentencing can be influenced by the aim to deter the defendant and others from committing similar crimes in the future. A harsh 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. If an offender poses a significant threat to public safety, a harsher sentence may be imposed to prevent him or her from committing further offences.
The potential of the defendant to be rehabilitated, or the 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 likelihood of being 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 minimum sentences, though it may have some discretion in certain cases.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the crime or the defendant’s conduct that increase the severity of the sentence, while statutory mitigating circumstances are elements that decrease the severity of the sentence.
Community and judicial views on the appropriate punishment for a particular crime may be a factor in sentencing Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel may influence the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with law enforcement or other authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the offence may be taken into account as a sentencing factor.
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 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 mitigating factors.
This factor considers the criminal history of the accused, including any previous convictions, and the 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 offence, including apologies or expressions of regret.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial harm suffered by the victims/s by virtue of the crime and how the crime impacted on his/her life.