What factors does a judge consider when determining punishments?

The factors that the judge considers when determining punishment include:

  • The defendant’s criminal history.
  • Whether or not the defendant was an accessory to the crime (helped the main offender) but was not the main offender.
  • The defendant’s mental state before committing the crime. (If the defendant committed the crime under great personal stress; for example, job loss, late on rent, etc.)
  • If no one was hurt or the crime was committed in a manner that was unlikely to have hurt anyone.
  • How the crime was committed, such as use of a weapon or inflicting physical or mental harm on a victim
  • If the defendant has a previous record of the same type of offense.

A judge may considerthese factors to either lessens or increases a criminal punishment.

Determining Criminal Punishment