Serving all of Michigan

Awards & Recognition

At Ben Hall Law, our East Lansing criminal defense lawyers know that being accused of or arrested for a crime may seem straightforward. However, that is rarely true. Law enforcement or the prosecutor’s office may introduce aggravating factors in a Michigan criminal case, which are circumstances or elements of the offense that may increase its severity or the potential penalties imposed upon a conviction.

Aggravating Factors in a Michigan Criminal Case

What Aggravating Factors Will Increase the Charges and Penalties of a Michigan Crime?

The most common aggravating factors considered by Michigan judges during sentencing, which may result in harsher punishment, include:

  • Prior Criminal History

A defendant’s prior convictions or criminal record can be considered an aggravating factor, especially if the current offense is similar to past crimes. In Michigan, you can be charged as a habitual offender if you have been convicted of a felony in the past. If charged as a habitual, your sentencing guidelines on your current felony offense will be increased.

  • High Degree of Planning or Premeditation

When someone carefully plans out a crime in advance, it suggests that they fully intended to carry it out, rather than acting impulsively or in the heat of the moment. Intent is a crucial element in determining the severity of a crime and the defendant’s culpability.

  • Use of Violence or Weapons

If violence or weapons were used during the commission of the crime, it can aggravate the offense and lead to increased penalties. Crimes that result in serious bodily injury or death to the victim are often considered more serious and may substantially increase the charges.

  • Victim Vulnerability

A person is considered vulnerable if they cannot protect themselves from harm or exploitation due to their personal or situational circumstances. Crimes committed against vulnerable victims, like children, elderly individuals, or individuals with disabilities, may be viewed as more egregious and result in increased penalties.

  • Hate Crimes

Crimes motivated by bias or prejudice against a victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other protected characteristics may be considered aggravating factors.

  • Gang Involvement

If the crime is associated with gang activity or organized crime, it may be considered more serious than the same crime committed by someone without a gang affiliation.

  • Violation of Trust

Crimes committed by individuals in positions of trust, like public officials, law enforcement officers, or fiduciaries, may be considered more serious due to the breach of trust involved in the alleged crime.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been accused or arrested for a crime that’s charges are being enhanced because of aggravating factors, contact our trusted criminal defense lawyer in Michigan to discuss your case today by calling (877)-236-4255 or contacting us online.

Your fight is our fight. Let’s get started.