Whether the accused entered a plea agreement with the prosecutor in exchange for a reduced penalty, or whether the accused 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 crime, such as acting under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
Refers to evidence or arguments presented by the prosecution and defence that may affect the sentence, such as evidence of the defendant’s past crimes 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 his or her punishment.
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.
The extent to which the accused has cooperated with the police and other authorities in investigating and prosecuting his own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation may demonstrate acceptance of responsibility and 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 older defendant or one with a serious health condition 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 severely 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 a defendant’s ability to pay restitution to the victim(s) and/or fines to the State.
Sentences can be affected by the aim to deter the accused 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 probability of being successfully rehabilitated may be sentenced more leniently.
Sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences set by state or federal law may be a factor in the sentencing decision. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences, although it may have some discretion in certain cases.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the crime 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.
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 assisted police or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the offence may be considered as a sentencing factor.
The defendant’s age, mental health and physical health may be relevant to the sentencing decision because 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 more severe penalties.
This factor relates to the specific details and events surrounding the commission of the offence, including the means used and the aggravator and extenuating factors.
This factor considers the criminal history of the accused, including any previous convictions, and the history of previous convictions.
This factor considers the overall circumstances of the accused, including education, employment, family circumstances and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers the accused’s demonstration of remorse for the offence committed, including apology or expression of regret.
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.