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Sentencing in Illinois Criminal Cases: Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

November 6th, 2017 at 11:01 am

aggravating factors, criminal cases, criminal defendant, mitigating factors, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyAfter a criminal defendant in Illinois is found guilty of committing a crime, or pleads no contest, a judge will evaluate the facts surrounding the case and then sentence the offender. While making this determination the judge also takes into account relevant mitigating factors (i.e. factors that support imposing a lesser penalty) and aggravating factors (i.e. factors that support imposing a harsher penalty).

Mitigating Factors

Under code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.1 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, judges in Illinois are required to consider the following mitigating factors when determining an offender’s sentence:

  • The offender’s criminal conduct did not cause, or threaten, serious physical harm to another,
  • The offender did not consider that his or her conduct would cause or threaten serious physical harm to another,
  • The offender was provoked,
  • There were substantial facts that, although they failed to establish a defense, tended to excuse the offender’s criminal conduct,
  • The offender’s criminal conduct was facilitated or induced by someone else,
  • The offender has compensated, or plans to compensate, his or her victim for the damage that he or she suffered,
  • The offender was a law-abiding citizen for a substantial period of time prior to committing the crime for which he or she is being sentenced,
  • The circumstances that led to the offender’s criminal conduct are unlikely to reoccur,
  • The offender’s attitude and character indicate that he or she is unlikely to commit another crime in the future,
  • The offender is likely to comply with the terms of an imposed probation period,
  • Imprisoning the offender would impose excessive hardship on his or her dependents,
  • Imprisoning the offender would endanger his or her medical condition,
  • The offender has an intellectual disability,
  • The offender sought emergency medical care for an overdose and is being sentenced for a qualifying crime involving a controlled substance under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act,
  • The fact that the offender was a domestic violence victim tends to justify or excuse the defendant’s criminal conduct, and/or
  • When committing the offense, the offender suffered from a serious mental illness that substantially impacted his or her ability to appreciate the nature and illegality of his or her acts.

Aggravating Factors

Additionally, judges imposing criminal sentences in Illinois are required to consider aggravating factors. Under code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes the aggravating factors that must be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • The offender’s conduct caused, or threatened, serious harm to another,
  • The offender was paid for committing the offense,
  • The offender has a history of engaging in criminal activity,
  • Punishing the offender is necessary in order to deter others in the community from committing the same offense in the future,
  • The offender’s victim was 60 years old or older,
  • The offender’s victim had a physical disability,
  • The offense occurred at a place of worship before, during, or following a worship service, and/or
  • The offender was wearing a bulletproof vest when he or she committed the offense.

Let Us Help You Today

Criminal defense attorneys have their work cut out for them during the sentencing phase of criminal trials because this is when they present mitigating factors in favor of their clients. This is critical as successfully doing so can mean no or reduced jail time for their clients. To find out what an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can do for you, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for help.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mitigating_factor

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Written by Staff Writer

November 6th, 2017 at 11:01 am

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