If you are convicted of a criminal offense, there’s a range of sentencing you could be subject to depending on the nature of the crime. However, when it comes to sentencing in St. Louis and elsewhere throughout Missouri, judges do have some leeway in the actual punishment. This is where mitigating factors in sentencing come in. If you have been charged with a crime, the skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyers at Combs Waterkotte are here to help.
Our criminal defense team works on behalf of our clients to secure a more lenient sentence by presenting compelling mitigating circumstances. Our attorneys are happy to explain the difference between aggravating and mitigating factors, and how they could possibly impact the judge’s decision in sentencing.
Call Combs Waterkotte today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience using mitigating factors to our clients’ benefit in St. Louis and throughout Missouri.
What Is a Mitigating Factor?
A mitigating factor is any component of a crime or your past, circumstances, or conduct that may support leniency in sentencing. This idea is utilized to give a more nuanced and customized evaluation of you and the offense, considering variables that may not be fairly or accurately represented in the prosecution’s rigid application of the law.
In certain situations, mitigating circumstances may be the essence of your defense. For example, if you were under duress or were pressured into committing a crime, your Combs Waterkotte defense attorney might be able to prove these legitimate defenses, leading to a decrease in the harshness of the sentencing or a not-guilty finding. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to a criminal defense lawyer online.
What Are Mitigating Factors in Sentencing?
Missouri criminal statutes devote little attention to factors that might mitigate a sentence. However, under Lockett v. Ohio, courts have held that evidence relating to a defendant’s character may be introduced provided that it is relevant to the sentencing process. As long as the mitigating factors bear some relation to the crime – and it’s not an everything-under-the-sun grab bag – judges tend to have wide discretion as to what they can consider.
The following are examples of mitigating factors that can influence sentencing:
- Minor role in the offense
- Mental or physical illness
- Coercion or duress
- Circumstances at the time of the offense, such as provocation, stress, or emotional problems that might not excuse the crime but might offer an explanation
- Past circumstances, such as abuse that resulted in criminal activity
- Lack of a prior criminal record
- Culpability of the victim
- Genuine remorse
It is important to remember that mitigating circumstances are considered at the court’s discretion, and various jurisdictions may have different criteria for what constitutes a mitigating factor. That is why it is critical to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in these matters in numerous jurisdictions in St. Louis and elsewhere throughout Missouri. Call Combs Waterkotte now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
Mitigating Factors in Sentencing | Combs Waterkotte
In addition to mitigating factors, the criminal defense team at Combs Waterkotte provides legal expertise in the following:
- Evidence: Gathering and presenting relevant and compelling evidence is at the cornerstone of proving your innocence or throwing doubt into the prosecution’s case.
- Expert witnesses: The Combs Waterkotte criminal defense attorneys have a network of experts in a variety of fields in St. Louis and throughout Missouri to provide vital insight into your case and aid in developing a more persuasive defense.
- A thorough comprehension of the law: A solid grasp of the relevant laws and regulations in St. Louis is essential for putting together a compelling defense.
If you have been charged with a crime, you need a strong criminal defense lawyer on your side. A Combs Waterkotte attorney can help you through the criminal justice system and protect your rights by providing the advice, experience, and skills you need.