Factors Considered During Sentencing

If you have recently been convicted of a crime, you may wonder what your court fine and sentencing will be like. If you have already retained an attorney to represent you in your case, you've probably already been told what to expect at sentencing. But even so, it helps to have a good idea as to what courts will look at when determining how much to charge you for a fine, and what your overall sentencing will be. Here is some information as to which factors courts consider when sentencing defendants.

Previous Record

Courts will look at factors such as whether or not you are a first-time or repeat offender, This factor is usually weighed pretty heavily. Of course, if it was a violent crime like rape or murder, the court really doesn't care how clean your record is. But if it was a smaller offense, like a petty larceny, the court may be a bit more lenient when it comes to your sentence.

Personal Stress

If you committed the crime under personal stress, the court may take that into consideration. Personal stress is referred to circumstances in your life at the time the crime was committed, such as the recent loss of your job or even the death of a loved one. While the court certainly doesn't consider those factors as as excuse, they will take them into consideration, depending upon the nature of the crime committed.


Many times courts will consider the sentencing based on how much remorse you feel. This may go hand in hand with the personal stress you were under, but many times defendants showing genuine remorse for the crime they committed could help a judge give the defendant a lesser sentence, or sentence them in a more productive manner, like seeking counseling or performing community service.

Victims and Attorney Statements

Most state laws require that the court allow the victims speak at sentencing. What the victim says may have a big impact on the court's decision for sentencing, and they can address the court to say whether or not they want leniency imposed when it comes to your sentence. Also, your defense attorney has the right to speak on your behalf during sentencing, explaining to the court why your sentence should be more lenient. Additionally, the prosecutor has the right to speak up about what they believe your sentence should be, and why. Talk to a professional like Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service Inc for more information.