“A mitigating factor is something an accused is given credit for.”
The term “mitigation” is to refer to any aspect of a case that reduces the severity of the sentence passed. “Personal mitigation” refers to factors relating to the offender rather than the offence. Personal mitigation takes many forms. Consider the following: –
Personal mitigation in the form of the offender’s past
In helping our clients draft their personal mitigation, our lawyers would require information from our client of his past that is worthy of mention, such as to convince the Court that the offender is not of a criminal nature. It would be ideal if our client is able to provide testimonials from his colleagues, employers, etc., to illustrate his good character and productive life. Similarly, if our client has been leading a deprived background, he should supplement such information to our lawyers.
Our lawyers would also wish to understand the offender’s circumstances at time of the offence. Information such as whether our client was facing financial pressures, psychiatric problems, intellectual limitations, immaturity, etc. are relevant factors to take into account for when drafting the personal mitigation plea.
Personal mitigation in the form of the offender’s response to the offence and prosecution
In drafting our client’s personal mitigation plea, our lawyers would also require information pertaining to the offender’s response to the offence and prosecution. For instance, if you voluntarily provided information to the police and co-operated with them fully, this could potentially benefit improve your mitigation plea.
On top of that, any acts of reparation (especially if you made full restitution to the victim) would imply that you are aware of your misdeeds and you are remorseful for your actions. These are pertinent information that can supplement the court when the Judge decides whether or not you are deserving of a less severe punishment.
Furthermore, you should highlight to your lawyer if you have taken steps to address the problems that led to the crime. For instance, if you were charged for voluntarily causing hurt when you punched someone in the heat of the moment, having enrolled for anger management classes could be indicative of your remorse and willingness to seek help. Similarly, if you were charged for CBT for misappropriating cash that was entrusted to you to pay off bad debt, signing up for financial management courses might indicate that you are proactive in seeking help.
Personal mitigation in the form of the offender’s present and future prospects
Our lawyers would also require information from our clients pertaining to his present and future prospects. For instance, information about his family responsibilities can include whether he has been providing financial support to his family members; whether he is the sole breadwinner; whether he has to look after a chronically-ill family member, etc. It would also be ideal if the offender has a positive living environment, where family members are supportive in his rehabilitation.
At GJC Law, our lawyers will provide legal advice to our clients as to the kind of information required in writing a personal mitigation plea. Furthermore, our lawyers will assist our clients in drafting their pleas to place them in the best position possible. Having a persuasive and well-supported mitigation plea is essential if you want to convince the Court that you deserve a less severe punishment. A well-written mitigation plea could mean lesser jail time for you.