mitigating circumstances
index extenuating circumstances

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006


mitigating circumstances
n.
Circumstances that make a crime or offense less serious without excusing the act.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


mitigating circumstances
Information about the defendant that does not justify or excuse a criminal act or civil wrong, but that may reduce the defendant's degree of culpability. In criminal law, juries consider mitigating circumstances when deciding whether to impose the death sentence in a capital case, and judges may consider them when selecting a sentence. In civil cases, mitigating circumstances may reduce the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


mitigating circumstances
Circumstances that may be considered by a court in determining culpability of a defendant or the extent of damages to be awarded to a plaintiff. Mitigating circumstances do not justify or excuse an offense but may reduce the severity of a charge. Similarly, a recognition of mitigating circumstances to reduce a damage award does not imply that the damages were not suffered but that they have been partially ameliorated.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


mitigating circumstances
I
Circumstances that may be considered by a court in determining culpability of a defendant or the extent of damages to be awarded to a plaintiff. Mitigating circumstances do not justify or excuse an offense but may reduce the severity of a charge. Similarly, a recognition of mitigating circumstances to reduce a damage award does not imply that the damages were not suffered but that they have been partially ameliorated.
II Those which do not constitute a justification or excuse for an offense but which may be considered as reasons for reducing the degree of blame.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

mitigating circumstances
n.
   in criminal law, conditions or happenings which do not excuse or justify criminal conduct, but are considered out of mercy or fairness in deciding the degree of the offense the prosecutor charges or influencing reduction of the penalty upon conviction. Example: a young man shoots his father after years of being beaten, belittled, sworn at and treated without love. "Heat of passion" or "diminished capacity" are forms of such mitigating circumstances.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mitigating circumstances — phrase facts that help to explain a crime or mistake and make it seem less bad He did take the money, but there were mitigating circumstances. Thesaurus: reasons and excusessynonym Main entry: mitigating …   Useful english dictionary

  • mitigating circumstances — ► LAW situations that are not an excuse for a crime, but that a court of law may consider to be important enough to reduce the blame or punishment of the accused person: »The judge said that there were no mitigating circumstances that would… …   Financial and business terms

  • mitigating circumstances — Such as do not constitute a justification or excuse for the offense in question, but which, in fairness and mercy, may be considered as extenuating or reducing the degree of moral culpability. For example, mitigating circumstances which will… …   Black's law dictionary

  • mitigating circumstances — Such as do not constitute a justification or excuse for the offense in question, but which, in fairness and mercy, may be considered as extenuating or reducing the degree of moral culpability. For example, mitigating circumstances which will… …   Black's law dictionary

  • mitigating circumstances — facts that help to explain a crime or mistake and make it seem less bad He did take the money, but there were mitigating circumstances …   English dictionary

  • mitigating circumstances — surrounding events which make a situation less severe …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Mitigating evidence — is evidence that is provided (usually by the defendant in a criminal trial) in order to try to establish the presence of mitigating circumstances. The presence of mitigating circumstances can reduce the punishment imposed for the offense. The… …   Wikipedia

  • mitigating circumstance — n: a circumstance in the commission of an act that lessens the degree of criminal culpability was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder because of mitigating circumstances; also: a circumstance or factor relating to an offense or defendant …   Law dictionary

  • mitigating — adj. serving to reduce blame; of situations; as, mitigating factors; mitigating circumstances. Opposite of {aggravating}. [Narrower terms: {exculpatory}] Syn: extenuating. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • circumstances — I noun accompanying events, attendant conditions, bases, changes, conditions, controlling factors, course of events, details, events, factors, facts, features, full particulars, governing factors, grounds, happenings, incidentals, instances,… …   Law dictionary

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