Mitigations of Charges

Criminal cases have two phases: Guilt or Innocence phase and, assuming guilt, the sentencing phase.  While mitigating circumstances are commonly used in the sentencing phase, an experienced attorney will often list mitigating circumstances in order to mitigate the charge itself in an effort to limit the court’s sentencing choices and avoid other collateral consequences.

When deciding what sentence to hand down for a defendant who has been convicted of a crime, the court usually considers information about the crime committed, as well as information about the offender.   The following can be used to mitigate both the offense as well as the sentencing in a criminal case: 

  • Your Age– whether the defendant was mature or a juvenile at the time of the criminal act.  A showing of immaturity and lack of emotional experience will be a factor in any criminal case.
  • Your mental capacity– such intellectual disability, or mental state at the time of the crime.
  • History of Abuse– whether you have a history of being abused.
  • Lack of Criminal Record 
  • Victim Culpability– this and other surrounding the circumstances of why the offense occurred can be used to mitigate charges and sentencing
  • Unusual Circumstances– the defendant’s actions were due to temporary emotional stress or severe provocation.
  • No Harm Done
  • Necessity– the defendant committed the crime out of necessity.
  • Remorse– the defendant clearly shows he is remorseful for his actions.