If you have been accused of a felony conviction, you will likely either enter a plea bargain or proceed to trial. Importantly, the factors surrounding your case will influence how harsh the sentence against you may be. More specifically, the judge will look at whether there were any aggravating factors present. Continue reading to learn what circumstances determine the severity of your felony conviction and how one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys in Hackensack, New Jersey can work to reduce or altogether eliminate the penalties placed against you.
What is an aggravated crime?
Put simply, an individual may be accused of an aggravated crime if they take some sort of action that increases the severity of the crime.
For example, you may be facing hefty fines and a significant prison sentence if you are found guilty of committing robbery. But if you were holding a firearm or otherwise a deadly weapon at the time of the robbery, then the New Jersey criminal court may consider this an aggravated crime, and therefore increase the maximum penalties for fines and prison sentences.
What aggravated factors will determine the severity of your felony conviction?
In addition to being in possession of a firearm or otherwise a deadly weapon at the time you committed a felony, there are other aggravated factors that the New Jersey criminal court may consider when determining the severity of your conviction. Examples of such factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The level of threats you imposed on the victim while holding a firearm or otherwise a deadly weapon.
- The level of harm you inflicted upon the victim at the time you committed the crime.
- The level of danger you pose to the general public after you have committed the crime.
- If you have a previous criminal history.
- If the crime you committed was associated with a gang.
- If there is more than one defendant, the extent of your role in committing the crime.
With that being said, if the crime you are being accused of is specifically sexual assault, then the New Jersey criminal court will look at factors like the following:
- If you used a firearm or otherwise a deadly weapon.
- If you used a date rape drug.
- If you caused bodily harm to the victim.
And if the crime you are being accused of is specifically manslaughter, then the New Jersey criminal court will look at factors like the following:
- If the victim was elderly.
- If the victim was disabled.
- If the victim was under the age of 18.
- If the victim was an active-duty first responder.
Overall, if you are facing such an accusation, you must not proceed without legal representation from one of the skilled criminal defense attorneys in Hackensack, New Jersey. Contact our firm today.