Whether the accused entered a plea agreement with the prosecutor in exchange for a reduced penalty, or provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or prosecution.
Refers to circumstances that may reduce the defendant’s responsibility or moral culpability for the offence, such as acting under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
This refers to the evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may have an impact on the sentence, such as evidence of previous bad acts by the defendant or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military, public service or other achievements relevant to their sentence.
Refers to the specific laws, policies, and case law in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed that may affect the sentence. For example, mandatory minimum sentences, sentencing guidelines, or prevailing community attitudes to punishment.
The extent to which the accused co-operated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his own case may be a factor in sentencing.
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 elderly defendant or one with a serious health condition 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 be liable to 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 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 affected by the aim to deter the offender and others from similar offences in the future.
Public safety and protection is a key consideration in sentencing A defendant who poses a significant threat to public safety may be sentenced more severely to ensure they cannot commit further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or ability to be successfully treated or trained so as not to offend again, may be taken into account in determining the appropriate sentence.
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 some 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.
Public opinion and judges’ or sentencers’ views may influence perceptions of how severe a particular penalty is.
The extent to which the defendant assisted police or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the offence may be considered a sentencing factor.
The age and mental/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.
Their role in committing an offence is also taken into account, with those with leadership or more active roles often receiving heavier penalties.
This factor refers to the specific details and events surrounding the offence committed, including the method used and any extenuating or mitigating circumstances.
This factor considers the criminal history of the accused, including any previous convictions, and the history of previous sentences.
This factor takes into account the overall history of the accused, including education, employment, family circumstances and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s expression of remorse for the offence committed, including any apologies or expressions of regret.
This assesses the physical, emotional and economic damage caused by the offence and its impact on the life of the victims.