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, such as acting under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm, which may reduce the defendant’s degree of responsibility or moral culpability for the offence.
This is the evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that can affect the penalty, such as evidence of the accused’s previous criminal record or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the accused’s military service, public service or other accomplishments which might have a bearing on his or her conviction.
Refers to 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 on punishment.
Sentencing may take into account how much an accused has cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in investigating and prosecuting his or her 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 condition may be given a lighter sentence.
The role played by the accused in committing the offence may affect his or her sentence A principal or a coconspirator may receive a more severe sentence than an accomplice or someone playing 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.
Sentences can be influenced by the aim to deter the offender and others from similar offences in the future.
The safety and protection of the public is a key consideration in sentencing. A sentence may be tougher for an offender who poses a significant threat to public safety in order to prevent them from committing further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or ability to be successfully treated or trained 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 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.
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 in state or federal law.
Public opinion and the views of judges or sentencers may influence the perception of the harshness of a given 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 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 their actions and their potential for rehabilitation.
The role of the accused in the commission of the crime may also be taken into account, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving harsher penalties.
This factor refers to the specific details and events surrounding the offence, including the method used and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor considers the defendant’s previous criminal history, including any previous convictions, as well as the defendant’s history of having been sentenced.
This factor takes into account the overall background of the defendant, including his or her education, employment, family situation and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s demonstration of remorse for the crime committed, including any apology or expression of regret.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial damage suffered by the victim(s) as a result of the crime and how the crime has affected their lives.