Aggravating factors are those that could lengthen the sentence or increase a penalty. These have been provided in law to punish the higher degree of criminality or the higher propensity of a person to commit a crime.
These factors, when you don’t face it properly with a Springfield, IL personal injury lawyers, could make you or your loved one stay in jail for a long time. Here are the most common aggravating factors normally cited by judges:
Any person who was previously convicted will be sentenced by a judge with an extended period. Death Penalty Info stated that the same might happen if one is on parole or on probation and has committed a felony. This means that the defendant would have to spend more time in jail than what is stated by law. If the sentence is normally up to 20 years, the aggravating factor of a previous conviction can increase the sentence to more than 20 years. This is why lawyers go into the details of a previous conviction so that they could raise the proper defenses.
Victim Below 12
Age is another factor that could lead the judge to appreciate an aggravating factor in the commission of a crime. According to Illinois General Assembly, people who commit murder could be sentenced to death penalty instead or imprisonment if the victim is under the age of 12 and commission was attendant with cruelty. When this is raised, the defense lawyer would make it a point to find out if indeed the victim’s age was ascertained and if there was indeed cruelty in the commission. Absent proof of the age and cruelty, this aggravating factor may not be appreciated.
Victim: Person With Disability
Another aggravating factor that could affect the penalty is the condition of the victim. If they have a disability and the defendant knew or should have known that they are one, then the imposable penalty will be higher. There are various kinds of people with disability, but the law states that they must have a permanent physical or mental impairment. Absent of such characters, the victim may not be considered as a person with a disability.
These are three of the common aggravating factors that are normally raised by the prosecution to mete out the higher penalty against the defendant. This is why it is important to find a personal injury lawyer who could make the proper defenses against these circumstances.