What Are Aggravating Factors in a Criminal Case?

Understanding MN Aggravating Circumstances

Aggravating factors are circumstances that increase the severity and responsibility of criminal acts. If you are convicted of a criminal offense, your penalties may be harshened depending on the presence of aggravating circumstances in your case. Aggravating factors elevate the seriousness of your crime, and as a result, you will suffer more severe consequences.

Each crime carries specific aggravating factors. If you were convicted of a violent, property, sex, drug or other crime, remember to avoid depending entirely on Minnesota’ sentencing guidelines to determine what your penalties may be. These guidelines are simply guidelines; they are not the sole determination of your future.

While it’s beneficial to learn what punishments you may suffer if convicted, be mindful that what you see in the MN sentencing guidelines is not always what you get. A judge will use their discretion to evaluate the presence of aggravating factors in your case and how to punish you accordingly. They will refer to the state sentencing guidelines but are free to enhance your sentence as they see fit.

As a result, we encourage you to consider the following aggravating factors to better understand your potential legal penalties:

  • Recidivism: This refers to your likeliness of reoffending or relapsing into criminal behavior. If a court detects recidivism in your case, they may impose harsher penalties.
  • Prior criminal record: A conviction of one or more crimes in the past can enhance your sentencing.
  • Tools used to commit the crime: If a firearm or dangerous weapon was used in the commission of a crime, you may suffer more severe punishments.
  • Intent: A court may determine that your alleged crime was intentional and not by negligence or recklessness, thereby hurting your case.
  • Lack of remorse: A judge and jury will examine you in court. Their perception of you and subsequent verdict may, in part, depend on whether you show regret for your alleged offense.
  • Amount of harm to the victim: The amount of violence used in your alleged criminal acts can constitute as aggravating factors in your case.
  • Committing the crime in front of a child: The presence of a child during the commission of your reported crime can result in stiffer legal penalties in your case.

To best avoid suffering the consequences of aggravating factors, our Minneapolis criminal defense attorney can aggressively defend your freedom and strategically negotiate for reduced or dismissed penalties on your behalf. Our proven ability to successfully advocate for our clients is demonstrated by our track record for favorable results.

We urge you to schedule a free consultation online or by calling (612) 979-1112 to learn how we can help you overcome your criminal accusations. You can count on Brockton D Hunter, P.A. to fiercely represent you no matter what obstacles arise.