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Aggravating and Mitigating Factors Can Affect Your Sentence: Consult Criminal Lawyers in Sydney and Area

Many of Australia’s finest criminal lawyers practice in Sydney and surrounding areas such as Surry Hills, Baulkham, Blacktown, Penrith, Quakers Hill, Chatswood, Brookvale, Manly, Richmond, and Punchbowl. When you are seeking a criminal lawyer, you’ll want to find one who combines quality and affordability. One important consideration in finding a lawyer is to find someone who can give you an honest assessment of your case. Although there are many variables, a good lawyer can evaluate your case, taking into account both aggravating and/or mitigating factors. These are the particular circumstances of your case that can either extend or reduce the penalty that you will face.


Aggravating Factors


Aggravating factors fall into three categories: those particular to the offence, those particular to the victim, and those particular to you.

Aggravating factors particular to the offence may include such circumstances as:

  •  Using or threatening to use an offensive weapon
  •  Deliberately subjecting the victim to severe pain
  •  Committing an offence against a law enforcement officer
  •  Abusing a position of authority or trust in committing the offence
  •  The offence was committed while attempting to escape police pursuit

Aggravating factors particular to the victim may include:

  • The victim was under 14 or over 60 years’ old
  • The victim was a spouse, domestic partner, or child who normally resides in your home
  • The victim was vulnerable due to physical disability or cognitive impairment


Aggravating factors particular to you may include:

  •  The offender was acting in contravention of a court order, or while subject to bail, bonds, or parole
  •   The offence was committed while driving, and the offender was driving while disqualified
  •   The offender was driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  •   The offender has a record of ongoing offences
  •   The offender used violence
  •   The offender was motivated by greed

Mitigating Factors


On the other hand, mitigating factors are those considerations which may result in a reduced sentence. These include behaviour of the offender in the past, during the commission of the crime, and predicted behaviour in the future. Some mitigating factors might be:

  • Crime was based on need, not greed
  • Crime was not premeditated
  •  No violence was used during the commission of the crime
  •  The defendant cooperated with authorities, showed remorse, and/or tried to make amends to the victim(s)
  •  The defendant was suffering from a mental illness or addiction at the time of the crime
  •  The defendant has an unblemished record (no prior criminal offences)
  •  The defendant is at risk of losing his or her job
  •  The defendant has dependent children
  •  The defendant is young
  •  The defendant has a good chance of being fully rehabilitated

Sometimes information about aggravating and mitigating factors is contained in reports presented in court. Information about the victim may be contained in the prosecutor’s report about the particulars of any injury, damage, or loss suffered by a victim, or in the form of a victim impact statement. A pre-trial sentence report may provide the court with information about the personal circumstances, physical/mental condition, and history of the defendant. 


Sentencing can affect virtually every aspect of a defendant’s life, from job seeking to overseas travel to personal relationships. Engaging a good criminal lawyer in Sydney can be crucial for your future.

Facing Criminal Charges

When charged with a serious criminal charge, the police can remand (or hold,) you until an appearance is made before the court. A court will decide to release you on bail or if you will be held in jail based on factors involved with the case. For those who are not remanded in jail until the hearing, figuring out the process for making a first appearance in court can be daunting. There are many different factors that can turn the tables against you. It is all in the details and, for someone inexperienced in the system, it can be very unclear what is expected of you or how you are supposed to behave. The best of intentions can be perceived unintentionally disrespectful by the court.

A criminal lawyer will assist with all the details and work to get the best possible outcome for you. A lawyer will help guide you on the best response when called to the Bar Table to defend yourself. He or she will help clarify what the burden of proof is and understanding the position and duties of the prosecution. They will help you to pick out what to wear – it is truly all in the details.

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