What Are Aggravating Factors in An Orlando, FL, Criminal Case?

Aggravating factors are circumstances that increase the severity of a crime or the potential punishment for the crime. These can include the use of a weapon, the presence of multiple victims, or the vulnerability of the victim (such as if the victim was a child or elderly).   

In criminal cases, aggravating factors are often taken into consideration by judges when determining the appropriate sentence for a defendant. Prosecutors can also use aggravating factors to pursue more severe charges or longer sentences. 

Several factors can potentially aggravate a criminal case in Orlando, Florida. These factors can increase the severity of a person’s charges and penalties if convicted of a crime. Some common aggravating factors include: 

  • Prior criminal history: A person with a long history of criminal convictions is more likely to receive harsher penalties than someone with no prior record. This is because the court may view the person as a repeat offender and more of a risk to the community. 
  • Using a weapon: If a person uses a weapon during the commission of a crime, it can increase the severity of the charges. For example, a person who robs a convenience store with a gun is more likely to face harsher penalties than someone who denies the store without a weapon. 
  • The harm or injury caused to others: If a person causes harm or injury to someone else during the commission of a crime, it can increase the severity of the charges. For example, a person who assaults someone and leaves them with serious injuries is more likely to face harsher penalties than someone who merely pushes or shoves someone. 
  • The amount of property damage: If a person causes significant property damage during the commission of a crime, it can increase the severity of the charges. For example, a person who sets fire to a building is more likely to face harsher penalties than someone who spray paints graffiti on a wall. 
  • The vulnerability of the victim: If the victim of a crime was particularly vulnerable, it can increase the severity of the charges. For example, a person who attacks an older adult or a child is more likely to face harsher penalties than someone who attacks an adult. 
  • The location of the crime: If a crime is committed in a location considered sacred or protected, it can increase the severity of the charges. For example, a person who vandalizes a place of worship is more likely to face harsher penalties than someone who vandalizes a commercial building. 
  • The use of a disguise: If a person wears a disguise or attempts to conceal their identity during the commission of a crime, it can increase the severity of the charges. This is because a disguise may be seen as an attempt to avoid detection and escape responsibility for the crime. 
  • The involvement of a hate crime: If a crime is motivated by prejudice or hate towards a particular group, it can increase the severity of the charges. For example, a person who attacks someone because of their race or sexual orientation is more likely to face harsher penalties than someone who attacks someone for no particular reason. 
  • The planning and premeditation of the crime: If a person carefully plans and premeditates a crime, it can increase the severity of the charges. The court may view the person as more calculated and dangerous. 
  • The abuse of a position of trust: If a person abuses their position of trust or authority during the commission of a crime, it can increase the severity of the charges. For example, a police officer who uses their badge to commit a crime is more likely to face harsher penalties than a civilian who commits the same crime. 

It’s important to note that these are just some examples of aggravating factors that could potentially impact a criminal case in Orlando, Florida. Each case is unique, and the specific circumstances of the crime will be taken into consideration when determining the charges and penalties that a person may face. 

How an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help with Aggravating Factors in an Orlando, FL

A criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling cases in Orlando, FL, can help with aggravating factors in a number of ways. 

Understanding of Aggravating Factors 

First, an experienced defense attorney in Orlando will thoroughly understand what constitutes an aggravating factor in a criminal case. An attorney familiar with the laws in Orlando, FL, will be able to identify any aggravating factors present in a case and advise the defendant on how they may impact the outcome.  

Crafting a Defense Strategy

Second, an experienced attorney can help craft a defense strategy that takes into account any aggravating factors present in the case. This may involve challenging the prosecution’s evidence or finding ways to mitigate the impact of the aggravating factors.  

For example, if the use of a weapon is an aggravating factor, the defense attorney may argue that the weapon was not used in a way that increased the severity of the crime. 

Negotiation of a Plea Bargain

Finally, an experienced attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain on behalf of the defendant that takes into account the aggravating factors present in the case. A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defense in which the defendant pleads guilty to a reduced charge or a reduced sentence in exchange for the prosecution dropping other charges or agreeing to a lighter sentence.  

An attorney skilled in negotiation may be able to negotiate a plea bargain that considers the presence of aggravating factors, potentially resulting in a more favorable outcome for the defendant. 

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