If a prosecutor has decided to file criminal charges against you, they likely believe they have enough evidence to build a case against you to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. While there is a good chance that with a strong defense strategy, the charges against you will be reduced or dismissed entirely, you need to consider what will happen if you are found guilty. Many criminal convictions result in serious consequences, including jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and rehabilitation programs.
What factors will be used when determining my sentence?
When a judge is determining your sentence, he or she will consider several factors relating to you and the crime itself. The following factors are commonly taken into account:
- Circumstances surrounding the crime (aggravating or mitigating circumstances)
- Seriousness of the crime (whether there were physical injuries)
- Whether you were the main perpetrator or an accessory to the crime
- Your past criminal record
- Oregon state guidelines
- Whether you are remorseful
- Whether you acted maliciously or with cruelty
No matter what charges you face, a serious penalty is almost always a possibility. An experienced criminal defense attorney can present your case in the best light possible to help ensure that you get the lightest sentence possible. Your attorney may also advise that you enter a plea deal, wherein you will plead guilty to lesser or fewer charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.