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Criminal Law Newsletter

Reducing the Severity of the Crime

If you are unable to successfully raise a defense to a crime, you may still have the crime reduced to a lesser included offense or have the punishment decreased. Surprisingly, courts are usually quite receptive to mitigating factors.

Factors of Mitigation

  • No prior record

  • Insignificant record

  • Mental impairment

  • Physical condition

  • Voluntary admission of guilt

  • Defendant makes restitution to the victim

  • Prior performance on probation was good

  • Alcoholism (to a degree)

  • Narcotics addiction (to a degree)

  • Mental or emotional disturbance

  • Provocation

While this list is not exhaustive, it gives you an idea of what a court is looking for when you raise mitigating factors. Additionally, each state will accept different circumstances and characteristics in mitigation of the crime.

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