In certain situations, being of ‘good character’ could persuade the judge to reduce the severity of the sentence. As specialist criminal defence solicitors, we will explore whether this is a mitigating factor in your case. If so, we will put this to the judge, working to minimise your sentence as much as possible.
If you need a criminal defence solicitor, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We offer free police station representation and are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are highly experienced lawyers and can put forward a robust defence on your behalf.
What is good character?
During criminal proceedings, the prosecution, defence and judge often talk about whether the accused is of ‘good character’. Generally, this means that you do not have any cautions or criminal convictions already on your record. If you do, any minor offences or very old offences may be ignored. Lifestyle factors can also be taken into account. For example, someone may be deemed to be of good character if he/she served in the military, performed longstanding voluntary or charity work, or has led a productive life
Will good character reduce my sentence?
Good character is what is known as a mitigating factor. This means that it may persuade the judge to reduce the sentence. What happens is that the judge reaches a provisional sentence based on your offence and the sentencing guidelines. Then, the judge considers whether there are any factors that should:
- Increase the length of your sentence (called aggravating factors)
- Decrease the length of your sentence (called mitigating factors)
Good character is a mitigating factor. If your defence demonstrates that you are of good character, the judge may decide to show leniency.
However, it should be noted that good character will not aid your defence in very serious cases. If you are convicted of offences such as murder and rape, it is very unlikely that good character would impact the sentence, as the severity of the crime overrides it.
If there are aspects of your life that could be reflected as good character, we encourage you to tell us about this sooner, rather than later. That way, we can present the best case to any sentencing court. As experienced criminal defence solicitors, we will put forward any mitigating factors – including examples of your good character – to limit your sentence as much as possible.
Contact us now for a free initial enquiry. Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.