Sometimes, a criminal defendant knows that they will be convicted of a crime. Then, the focus of these cases becomes reducing the severity of the penalties that they will face when they are sentenced. If you are in this position, you should understand which factors the court will consider when it determines what sentence to hand down.

One of the primary factors in these cases is the sentencing guideline for the charge. This is usually a range of options that are considered normal for the charge. In some cases, this will include a mandatory minimum sentence. When there is a mandatory minimum, the court isn’t allowed to issue anything below that threshold.

Another factor that’s considered is the defendant’s criminal history. This includes any convictions that you had in the past for the same charge. A more extensive criminal history means that you might be looking at a more serious sentence than someone who is facing charges for the first time.

The circumstances of the crime might also have a role in the sentencing process. Some factors might mean that you could face an enhanced charge. For example, assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) will be treated more harshly than an assault without a weapon.

Your behavior during your court hearings might also have an impact on the sentence. Judges typically consider any remorse or regret that you’ve shown — and it must be genuine. They can usually detect when defendants are faking it in the hopes of receiving a less severe sentence. Keep these things in mind when you plan your defense strategy.