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What Are Some Aggravating Factors When It Comes to Felony Charges?

When someone is charged with a felony in New Jersey, the court can look at a variety of factors before punishment is decided upon. There are mitigating factors, which can make a crime committed seem less severe, and aggravating factors, which can make a defendant seem more dangerous. The presence of aggravating factors can mean harsher penalties, so we recommend hiring a Bergen County criminal defense attorney that can help you tell your side of the story.

What Are Some Examples of Aggravating Factors?

An aggravating factor can be related to the crime itself, your own history, and even your alleged associations with other people. The court could consider:

  • Whether the victim was someone who would be less capable of resisting or defending themselves
  • The extent of the injuries suffered by the victim
  • How likely it is that you will commit another crime
  • Your prior criminal record
  • Whether or not you can be linked to organized criminal activity
  • If you stole a vehicle or committed other crimes in the commission of this one
  • The victim was a first responder or public servant

Any of these things could be seen as a reason to inflict harsher penalties.

What Happens if Aggravating Factors Are Considered?

The main thing you need to worry about if the court considers aggravating factors is the tougher punishments for a guilty verdict. In many felony cases, the court has a bit of leeway in deciding what kind of penalty a defendant will face. When aggravating factors are present, it is far more likely that you will face punishments that are on the more severe side of the spectrum.

In light of some aggravating factors, a fine could be seen as insufficient, so it gets raised. A period of probation and a sentence of community service just do not seem like enough in this situation, so an extended jail sentence is handed down instead. This is why you should have a lawyer on your side who can help you build a defense.

Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Your attorney will do their best to tell your side of the story and show why you should receive lesser penalties if convicted. Instead of focusing on aggravating factors, we can focus on the mitigating factors. These are the circumstances that make your conduct seem more acceptable or factors that make you a good candidate for lesser punishments. Your lawyer can show that you:

  • Only acted under extreme provocation
  • Cooperated with law enforcement
  • Have no history of criminal activity and seem unlikely to commit more offenses
  • Are likely to respond well to probationary punishments and treatments

We will look at every factor in your case and help you forge the best possible defense.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are facing criminal charges and believe that aggravating factors could make your penalties worse, you need to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact the Law Office of Attorney Conway and schedule a consultation today.

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