Indicates whether the defendant has reached an agreement with the prosecution to enter a plea of guilty 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 lessen the responsibility or moral culpability of the accused, such as acting 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 have an impact on the sentence, such as evidence of the defendant’s previous bad acts or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the accused’s military, public or other service that may be relevant to sentencing.
For example, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines, or prevailing community attitudes towards punitive measures.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with the police and other authorities in investigating and prosecuting 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 defendant’s age and any physical or mental health problems may be relevant to the court’s determination of an appropriate sentence. For example, an elderly defendant or one with a serious health problem may be sentenced more leniently.
The defendant’s role in the commission of the offence may affect his or her sentence. A principal or co-conspirator may be sentenced more harshly 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 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 can be influenced by the aim to deter the defendant 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 in order to prevent him or her from committing further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, 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 established by state or federal law may be a factor in determining a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences, although it may have some discretion in certain cases.
Legal aggravators are elements of the crime or the defendant’s conduct that increase the penalty, while mitigators are elements that decrease the penalty. These factors are often specified by state or federal law.
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 influence the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the accused has assisted the police or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the offence may be taken into account in sentencing him.
The age and mental and physical health of the defendant may be relevant in determining the sentence, as these factors may affect the defendant’s ability to understand the consequences of his actions and his potential for rehabilitation.
The defendant’s role in committing the crime may also be taken into account, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving a more severe sentence.
This factor relates to the specific details and events surrounding the offence that was committed, including the method used and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s previous sentences.
This factor considers the defendant’s general background, including education, employment, family situation, drug/alcohol history.
This factor considers the accused’s expression of remorse for the offence committed, including apology or expression of regret.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial harm suffered by the victim/s as a result of the crime and how it has affected their lives.