Indicates whether the defendant has entered into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence, or whether the defendant has provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or prosecution of the case.
Refers to circumstances that may reduce the defendant’s level of responsibility or moral blameworthiness 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 both the prosecution and the defence that may have an impact on 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 his or her punishment.
Indicates 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 about 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.
The court may consider the ability of the accused to make restitution to the victims or to the State.
Sentencing may be influenced by the aim of deterring the defendant and others from committing similar offences in the future – a severe sentence may act as a deterrent, whereas 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 public safety may be sentenced more severely to ensure that they are unable to commit further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or ability to be successfully treated or trained not to reoffend, may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence. A defendant who appears to have a high probability of successful rehabilitation may be sentenced more leniently.
Sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences set by state or federal law may be a factor in determining a sentence. The court must follow these guidelines and mandatory minimums, although it may have some discretion in certain cases.
Legal aggravators are elements of the crime or the defendant’s conduct that increase the penalty, while mitigators are elements that decrease the penalty. These factors are often specified by state or federal law.
Community and judicial views on the appropriate punishment for a particular offence can be a factor in sentencing Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel can influence the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The degree to which the accused assisted law enforcement or other authorities to investigate or prosecute the crime may play a role at sentencing.
Age, mental and physical health of an accused person may be relevant in sentencing, as these factors may affect his or her ability to understand consequences of his or her actions and his or her capacity for rehabilitation.
The role played by the defendant in committing the offence may also be considered, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving more severe sentences.
This factor relates to the specific details and events surrounding the commission of the offence, including the means used and the extenuating and mitigating facts.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, and the defendant’s previous sentences.
It takes into account a defendants’ whole background, 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 crime committed. It includes any apologies or expressions 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.