Different crimes carry different penalties, and there are numerous factors that go into determining how a suspect is charged and if convicted, penalized. Here’s what you need to know about aggravated crimes, how certain factors can cause you to incur a stiffer penalty, and how to get legal help
Using a Firearm or Other Deadly Weapon
Sentencing is often harsher for crimes where a deadly weapon is involved if the defendant is found guilty. For example, if you were caught in the act of burglary and had a gun on your person, you may be charged with more serious crimes than if you did not have the gun. This is true even if the gun had not been used. Assault with a deadly weapon is also usually penalized more harshly than assault committed with no weapon.
Becoming a Repeat Offender
Defendants with repeat charges against them often face charges the second or third time around. This is meant to deter the defendant from engaging in criminal behavior again. Other crimes can also count against you in regard to sentencing, even if the crime was entirely unrelated to your charges now.
Committing a Hate Crime
Harsher sentencing for hate crimes is becoming more common and defendants who are facing charges of hate-motivated crimes may be looking at serious penalties, including fines and prison time. The definition of a hate crime is broad, and a judge can impose a harsher sentence for any crime that a defendant is found guilty of that was purposely committed against a protected group.
Committing Crimes Against Vulnerable People
If the crime you are accused of committing was against a particularly vulnerable person, such as a child or an elderly or disabled person, you may be penalized more severely than if the crime was against someone less vulnerable. This is generally because crimes against traditionally vulnerable individuals are considered especially egregious.
Committing a Crime with a Mandatory Minimum Sentence
There are several crimes that are serious enough to warrant a mandatory minimum sentence, or the least amount of time that a defendant can spend in jail before being put up for parole. Generally, violent crimes and certain crimes against children carry a mandatory minimum sentence that a judge can add to but may not reduce despite the circumstances of the crime.
Should You Call a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer After Your Arrest?
After being arrested for any crime — whether it carries a mandatory minimum sentence or not — it’s critical to get help from an experienced criminal lawyer. Call Scott Cerbin today for a consultation at 718-596-1829.