What To Know About Mitigating Factors In A Florida Criminal Case
There are times when a defendant will be found guilty at trial, or plead guilty to a charge as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution. Once this happens, the case will proceed to the sentencing phase. This part of the case is not an “open and shut” situation. In fact, there is still some room for negotiation and presentation of evidence during the sentencing phase.
A judge will need to know before sentencing, for example, whether any aggravating factors or mitigating factors exist in the case. Prosecutors will often push to bring aggravating factors to the judge’s attention. These may include a defendant’s criminal history and likelihood of re-offending, or unique circumstances involved with the crime. A defendant’s acts of depravity or lack of remorse, for example, will be brought up by the prosecution at sentencing if they exist.
Mitigating factors, on the other hand, are facts or circumstances that could be seen as lessening the severity of the defendant’s conduct. At sentencing, mitigating factors can be used to reduce a defendant’s sentence and potential jail time.
Some common examples of mitigating factors in a criminal case include:
- Lack of prior criminal history
- The defendant’s standing in the community
- Remorse shown by the defendant
- Mental health issues
- Past trauma or hardships that affect a defendant’s actions
- The defendant’s age at the time of the crime, or intelligence and maturity levels
- Role of the victim (such as partial responsibility) during the incident in question
- Coercion of the defendant by another person or even by law enforcement
- Scope of the harm done by the defendant. If it was a non-violent offense and the damage was correctible, this may help the defendant.
A skilled and proven Florida criminal defense attorney can present any of these factors – and others – that may apply in a case. Effectively arguing mitigating factors surrounding the defendant can often result in significant reductions at sentencing. In some instances, mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines restrict what a defense attorney and even judge can change. But there is often some degree of leeway on jail and prison sentences, and probation terms as well.
The Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys at Joshi Law Firm, PA Can Help You From Start to Finish in a Florida Criminal Case
If you have been charged with any type of criminal offense in the Orlando, Florida, area, the time to start building your defense is now. There are many aspects of a criminal case, and not all cases involve a finding of guilt and sentencing. If they do, however, you want to be as fully prepared as possible. That means knowing the mitigating factors that apply in your case, and how they may help reduce your sentence.
The experienced Florida criminal defense team at Joshi Law Firm, PA, will evaluate your case to determine all legal options. Part of the defense strategy will include analysis of mitigating factors that apply to a defendant’s case. To learn more, call our Orlando criminal defense attorneys at Joshi Law Firm to discuss the various options and legal strategies available to you in Florida.