Whether the defendant has entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution in exchange for a reduced sentence, or whether the defendant has 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 culpability for the offence, such as acting under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
Evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecutor and the defence that could affect the penalty, such as evidence of the accused’s previous bad acts or extenuating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military service, public service or other achievements relevant to sentencing.
Refers to the specific laws, policies and case law in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed that may have an impact on the sentence, such as mandatory minimum sentences, sentencing guidelines or prevailing views on punishment in the community.
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 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 accused and others from committing similar offences in the future. A severe 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 the offender from committing further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or 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 successful rehabilitation 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.
Aggravation is a factor in the offense or in the conduct of the offender which increases the penalty, whereas mitigation is a factor which reduces the penalty.
Community and judicial views on the appropriate punishment for a particular offence can be a factor in sentencing Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel can have an impact on the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the defendant has assisted law enforcement or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the offence may be considered as a sentencing factor.
The age, mental and physical health of the accused may be relevant in determining the sentence, as these factors may affect the accused’s ability to understand the consequences of his or her actions and the potential for rehabilitation.
The role of the defendant 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 attenuating factors.
This factor considers the previous criminal history of the accused, including any previous convictions, and the history of previous sentences.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s whole background. This includes education, employment, family situation and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s expression of remorse for the crime committed. It includes any apologies or expressions of regret.
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.