There can be a wide spectrum of penalties applicable to the criminal charge with which you’ve been charged. Your ultimate hope, of course, is to escape conviction altogether, and that’s something that may be attainable in your case. But if it’s not, then you’re probably worried about the penalties that are going to be implemented upon conviction.
Fortunately, you still have some control here, as you can argue mitigating factors that should be taken into consideration. You also need to be prepared to defend against any aggravating factors that the prosecution might raise, though, as these will be pivotal in deciding which penalties will be ordered.
What are aggravating factors?
Aggravating factors are facts in your case that might warrant harsher penalties. This could include:
- Whether a dangerous weapon was used in the commission of the crime.
- Any physical harm that was caused to the victim and, if harm was caused, the severity of that harm.
- Any vulnerabilities possessed by the victim, including any mental health issues, age, and incapacitation.
- Any existing criminal history that you might possess.
- Whether the crime was motivated by race, gender, sexual orientation, or the existence in some other protected class.
- Whether the crime was committed in the presence of a child.
- The amount of remorse you have for the crime committed.
There could be other aggravating factors that are at issue in your case. You’ll need to be prepared to counter all of them if you want to mount a strong criminal defense and reduce the penalties that you’re bound to face.
Start building an aggressive criminal defense now
If you want to protect your future as much as possible, then you need to put in the work necessary to build a strong criminal defense. To do so, you’ll need legal knowledge and a command of the facts, but this isn’t a process that you have to face alone. Be sure to surround yourself with the support that you need to get through this trying time and protect your future as fully as possible.