3. Understand the aggravating factors in your case

At your sentencing , the judge looks at any that apply to you. These factors could result in a tougher .

Depending on your case, your aggravating factors may include:

  • your criminal record
  • the facts of your
  • the impact of the crime on your victims
  • your association with other criminal organizations

Before your sentencing hearing, you should be ready to:

  • admit the aggravating factors that affect your case
  • describe any plans you have for addressing the aggravating factors

Criminal record

If you have a criminal record, the court will try to determine if:

  • you have a history of criminal behaviour
  • your criminal behaviour is getting worse

They will also consider whether you:

  • have a criminal record or repeated convictions for the same crime
  • were subject to other legal conditions at the time of the crime, such as , , , , or an under the Correction and Conditional Release Act
  • were subject to a weapons and firearm at the time of the crime

Offence facts

The court will consider facts related to what happened, such as:

  • your role in the crime
  • whether you committed the crime more than once
  • whether a weapon was used and how
  • whether property was damaged or money was taken

They will consider your state of mind, such as whether you:

  • planned the crime
  • seemed to be motivated by prejudice against ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or another prejudice


The court will consider who the victims are. For example, whether the:

  • crime happened in an area where families and children are likely to be
  • victim was a stranger
  • victim was a spouse or common-law partner
  • crime involved abusing a relationship of trust or authority, such as stealing from an employer

They will consider the impact the crime had on the victims, such as whether the:

  • crime involved abuse against a person under the age of 18 years
  • victim experienced real financial harm because of the crime
  • victim’s health was seriously harmed
  • victim received a permanent physical or psychological injury


The court will consider any that shows the crime was:

  • committed for the benefit of, or with help from, a criminal organization
  • committed as an act of terrorism
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