Sentencing is important in many criminal defense cases. Understand that sentencing is the last stop before a judge. That means that a sentence is final, and hard to get back into court and correct. If you want to do well at sentencing, you and your lawyer should prepare a mitigation package.

What Is a Mitigation Package?

In general terms, a mitigation package is a comprehensive collection of the defendant’s life history, relationship with the victim, instances of abuse, health and psychological information, psychological testing results, instances of good behavior (to name a few things) that is presented to the prosecutors and jury so that the ultimate penalty possible for that crime (from death at the most extreme, to weeks in the county jail) is decreased.

Tips for Preparing a Mitigation Package

Below are suggestions for how to prepare and what to include in a mitigation package:

  • Carefully prepare for your meeting with your probation officer so that he/she recommends a reduced sentence — for example:
    • Tell the probation officer about any addiction treatment or counseling programs you’re enrolled in
    • Bring letters from your family, employers, friends and others who can emphasize that you are a good person.
    • Be prepared to briefly discuss in factual terms your prior criminal record, version of and motive for the criminal act giving rise to the conviction, personal and family history, health, education, employment history, financial status and any military history.
    • Be remorseful, and show it.
  • Also show your remorse to the court at the sentencing.
  • Have a plea bargain that allows the judge some choice at sentencing  to give you a sentence that is shorter, or less restrictive (in its requirements).

Work carefully with your lawyer during all phases of sentencing presentations. Your lawyer should know what the judge wants to hear from defendants at sentencing.  Colorado attorney Shaun Kaufman is experienced with developing sentencing, or mitigation presentations, and for having achieved some remarkable results in such cases. Contact Shaun Kaufman Law at 303-309-0430 with your sentencing questions.

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