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 prosecution.
Refers to circumstances, such as acting under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm, that 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 could affect the penalty, such as evidence of the accused’s previous criminal record 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 their sentence.
Refers to the specific laws, policies and case law in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed that may have an impact on sentencing, such as mandatory minimum sentences, sentencing guidelines or prevailing community views on punishment.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of their 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 in determining an appropriate sentence, for example, an older defendant or one with a serious health problem may be sentenced more leniently.
Sentences may be harsher than those imposed on accomplices or those who played minor roles.
The financial resources and ability of the accused to pay fines or other financial penalties may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence. The court may consider whether the accused has the ability to pay restitution to the victims and/or fines to the State.
Sentencing can 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 sentence may be increased for an offender who poses a significant threat to public safety to prevent him or her from committing further offences.
The potential of the accused to be rehabilitated, or to be successfully treated or trained so as 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 minimums established by state or federal law might be a factor in determining a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimums, though it has some discretion in a particular case.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the crime or defendant’s conduct that increase the severity of the sentence, while mitigating circumstances are elements that decrease the severity of the sentence, often specified by state or federal law.
Public opinion and the views of judges or sentencers may influence the perception of the gravity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the defendant has assisted the police 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 and physical health may be relevant to sentencing because these factors may affect the defendant’s ability to understand the consequences of their actions and their potential for rehabilitation.
Their role in committing an offence is also taken into account, with those with leadership or more active roles often receiving harsher sentences.
This factor relates to the specific details and events surrounding the offence 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 history of previous convictions.
This factor considers the defendant’s general background, including education, employment, family situation, and drug/alcohol history.
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 harm suffered by the victims/s by virtue of the crime, and how the crime impacted on the victims/s life.