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Sentencing Factors

In determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed on a person who has been convicted of a criminal offense, our legislature has directed courts to consider the following aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

Aggravating Factors

  1. The nature and circumstance of the offense and the role of the defendant including whether or not the offense was committed in an especially heinous cruel or depraved manner.
  2. The gravity and seriousness of harm inflicted on the victim, including whether or not the defendant should have known that the victim was particularly vulnerable because of age, youth, or lack of physical or mental power of resistance.
  3. The risk that defendant will commit another offense.
  4. The fact that the conduct breached public trust.
  5. The likelihood that the defendant is involved in organized criminal activity.
  6. The extent and nature of the defendant's prior criminal record.
  7. Whether the offense was committed for pecuniary gain.
  8. Whether the defendant committed the offense against a police or law enforcement officer.
  9. The need to deter the defendant and others from violating the law.
  10. The fact that the conduct involved fraudulent or deceptive practices committed against the government of the State of New Jersey.
  11. Whether the imposition of a fine or other penalty would be seen as simply the cost of doing business.
  12. Whether the defendant committed the offense against a person who was sixty years of age or older, or disabled.
  13. Whether the defendant was in possession of a stolen motor vehicle at the time of committing the crime charged.

Mitigating Factors

  1. The defendant's conduct neither caused nor threatened serious harm.
  2. The defendant did not contemplate that his conduct would cause or threaten serious harm.
  3. The defendant acted under a strong provocation.
  4. There were substantial grounds tending to excuse or justify the defendant's conduct.
  5. The victim facilitated the commission of the crime.
  6. The defendant has compensated or will compensate the victim for his or her loss and will participate in a program of community service.
  7. The defendant has no history of prior delinquency or criminal activity, or has led a law-abiding life for a substantial period of time.
  8. The defendant's conduct was the result of circumstances unlikely to recur.
  9. The character and attitude of the defendant indicate that he is unlikely to commit another offense.
  10. The defendant is particularly likely to respond affirmatively to probation.
  11. Imprisonment of the defendant would entail an excessive hardship to himself or his dependents.
  12. The defendant is willing to cooperate with law enforcement authorities.
  13. The conduct of a youthful defendant was substantially influenced by another person more mature than him.

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Joseph J. Rodgers, Chartered
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