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 proceedings.
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 the defendant’s previous bad acts 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 the sentence.
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 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 may demonstrate an acceptance of responsibility and may be considered by the court as a mitigating factor.
Age and any physical or mental health problems may also play a role in a court deciding on a suitable 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 someone who played a lesser 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 the defendant’s ability to pay restitution to the victim or victims 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 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 a key consideration in sentencing. A defendant who poses a significant threat to the safety of the public may be sentenced more severely to ensure that he or she is unable to commit 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 minimums established by state or federal law may be a factor in determining a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimums, but the court has some discretion in a particular case.
Aggravation is a factor in the offense or conduct 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 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 defendant has assisted law enforcement or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the crime may be considered as a sentencing factor.
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 or her actions and his or her potential for rehabilitation.
The defendant’s role in the commission of the offence may also be taken into account, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving a more severe sentence.
This factor refers to specific details and events surrounding the offence, including method used and aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor considers the previous criminal history of the accused, including any previous convictions, and the history of the previous sentences.
This factor considers the overall background of the accused, including education, employment, family circumstances and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers whether the accused has shown remorse for the offence, including apology or remorse.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial damage suffered by the victim(s) as a result of the offence and the impact the offence has had on their lives.