Many different factors are taken into consideration when determining an appropriate sentence for a defendant who has been convicted of a crime. Something the judge must consider when sentencing a defendant is the presence of aggravating factors. What are aggravating factors and how can they affect your case? Here’s what you should know:
What Are Aggravating Factors?
Aggravating factors are specific circumstances under which a defendant’s felony crime is considered to be more serious. These specific circumstances are:
- The defendant was on parole or probation for another felony at the time he committed this felony crime.
- The defendant was convicted of a crime of violence, including but not limited to murder, first or second degree assault, kidnapping, first degree arson, and aggravated robbery.
- At the time of the crime, the defendant was under confinement or in a correctional institution because of a previous felony conviction.
- The defendant was an escapee from a correctional institution at the time of the crime.
- The defendant committed the crime while he was on appeal bond after being convicted of a previous felony crime.
- At the time of the crime, the defendant was on bond following the revocation of his probation, which he was sentenced to after committing a previous felony crime.
If any of these aggravating factors apply to your case, it’s important to understand how their presence could affect your case.
How Will the Presence of Aggravating Factors Affect Your Sentence?
The presence of one of these aggravating circumstances does not mean that you will definitely be sentenced to prison. However, if the judge sentences you to time behind bars, the presence of these aggravating factors can affect the length of time that you will be incarcerated.
For example, let’s say you are convicted of a class 3 felony and the judge has decided to send you to prison. The sentencing range for a class 3 felony in Colorado is between 4-12 years. If aggravating circumstances are present, the judge must sentence you to at least 8 years, since this is the midpoint of the sentencing range for this crime. The judge cannot sentence you to more than two times the maximum term, or in this case, more than 24 years.
Have you been charged with a crime? If so, you will need guidance from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to fight for the best possible outcome in our clients’ cases. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.