5 Factors a Judge May Consider During Trial

Anyone convicted of a crime should know what factors a judge might consider when determining their sentence. The judge takes into account several factors when determining a sentence, including circumstances surrounding the crime and the person who committed the crime, the offender. Having an experienced, trusted attorney on your side is important both to advocate in court for those factors which may bring about the best outcome and, also, for you to receive the best legal guidance about your case.

5 factors a judge will consider are:

1. Case law and statutes.

The first thing a judge must consider is the law. Statutes set minimum and maximum punishments for criminal offenses. Furthermore, case law and constitutional considerations will also influence a judge’s decision. On appeal, a judge’s sentence would be overturned if he or she failed to follow the law.

2. History of offenses.

Prior criminal records will be considered by the judge when determining your sentence. Lack of a criminal record will likely benefit you greatly, while a lengthy criminal record can pose a challenge. Even older convictions may be considered, although recent convictions often will be more damaging.

3. Compliance.

Complying with the terms of a plea agreement, which may include AA, substance abuse counseling, anger management classes, domestic abuse counseling, or other requirements, frequently increases the chances of improving your case outcome.  An experienced attorney will advise you about steps which may be beneficial to helping you achieve the best legal solution. By establishing relationships and conducting research, an experienced attorney can help clients understand their legal options.

4. Severity.

Of course, the gravity and circumstances surrounding your case will play a role in the judge’s sentencing decision. Not surprising, defendants who commit more serious crimes are often punished more severely.  Mitigating factors, or facts presented to the court regarding the defendant, about the defendant’s life, or circumstances surrounding the crime, can help the court understand reasons that led the defendant to be in this position.  An experienced attorney can often advocate to help the court understand mitigating factors that may be helpful to a client’s case.

5. Risk to the community.

When considering a sentence, the judge may frequently look at how much risk you pose to the community. Often, defendants who commit violent crimes such as assaults or sexual offenses are believed to pose a greater risk to the community than those who commit financial crimes or other nonviolent crimes.

It is important to note that judges make final decisions based on a variety of factors. Dempsey, Roberts & Smith, Ltd. can assist you with a wide variety of legal services. Judges consider compliance in every case, whether that be criminal defense, family law, domestic violence, etc. Contact our team at Dempsey Roberts & Smith today to speak with an experienced Henderson lawyer. We can help you figure out the steps you need to take in order to improve the outcome of your case!