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Street and What is Taken into Account for Sentencing

Street and What is Taken into Account for Sentencing

If you indulge in a street fight, you should certainly find a lawyer or visit a website such as fast to get relief.

There are things that the court will take into account.

  • Who is responsible for starting the fight?

Of course, who won or lost the fight doesn’t matter here; the thing that matters is by whose instigation the fight started. But also you should keep in mind that you can still be guilty of assault even if you are not the one who started the fight and you are not the one who started the first hit.

  • Your history will be checked; if you have some previous history then you are in trouble?

Though you are not guilty till your crime is established, but still, in most of the courts your previous convictions can make the judge, or the jury can become confused about you, and the prosecution will try to take advantage of it.

  • Are there any aggravating factors?

The law knows that some kind of self-defence is normal. Aggravating features of a case could be the accused assaulted the victim in front of children, at a wedding/funeral or in the act of committing a separate crime where the victim intervened. For such reasons, the punishments can be different.

  • Assuming guilt has been ascertained the case then moves on to sentence.

The court must strike a balance between deterrent/punishment and the overall good of society. If the defendant employs many people who would lose their jobs were a prison sentence imposed.

  • Was this a one-off behavior by the accused?

Can the defendant show character witnesses to give a glowing reference, were they unemployed at the time and now had a job, had a loved one passed away and were drinking heavily as a coping strategy at the time of the offence, but now steps have been taken to address the cause of the offending behaviour. (Such as alcohol or bereavement counselling etc.) These would show the court that a lesson has been learned and society would be better served (for a 1st or even 2nd/3rd offence at a stretch) by not sentencing the defendant to a term of imprisonment. Adversely this can go the other way if the defendant has been in court and done the above before and received leniency, the court may not swallow it a second time, and prison may be their only course.


Brian Brown

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