In Arizona, the law provides for a wide range of sentence options and gives judges a substantial amount of discretion in sentencing. A judge may look at mitigating factors to help him decide on whether or not to give a convicted person a lower sentence.
The practice of giving lighter sentences due to mitigating factors exists, and this is one area you and your lawyer should fully explore early on.
Many mitigating factors can be presented to the court. Clinical assessments of the defendant and the circumstances are frequently helpful. This presentation of mitigating factors involves psychiatric and psychological analysis.
About half of the states in the US accept evidence that shows the offender was under extreme emotional or mental distress as a mitigating factor. In this case, the defendant’s lawyer should also convince the court that his client’s capacity to appreciate the unlawful aspect of his act, or his capacity to control his behavior to satisfy the law’s requirements, was impaired.
Mitigating circumstances are conditions that are taken into consideration when a court considers the consequences of legal and moral culpability.
For example, you are speeding to get your father to a hospital because he’s experiencing chest pains. In court, you would argue that the mitigating circumstance of fearing your father was having a heart attack might excuse the act altogether or lower the penalty meted out by the judge.
The law in the sphere of sentencing is complex. Provisions in the law state any required duration of jail sentences for different types of crimes, but the actual length of time spent behind bars can be longer or shorter. Actual term of incarceration can be affected by credit for good behavior and jail-alternative programs. Along with or instead of imprisonment, punishments can take other forms such as restitution, community service, probation, and fines.
If you face criminal charges and you need expert advice, go to the offices of Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. He is a former prosecutor who has over 30 years of experience in court battles. Robert is results-driven and he will not rest until he gets the best resolution for his clients.