Factors that increases the severity or culpability of a criminal act, including, but not limited to, heinousness of the crime, lack of remorse, and prior conviction of another crime. Recognition of particular aggravating circumstances varies by jurisdiction.
See, e.g. Magwood v. Patterson, 130 S.Ct. 2788 (2010).
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Circumstances that increase the seriousness or outrageousness of a given crime, which will increase the wrongdoer's penalty or punishment. For example, the crime of aggravated assault is a physical attack made worse because it is committed with a dangerous weapon, results in severe bodily injury, or is made in conjunction with another serious crime. Aggravated assault is usually considered a felony, punishable by a prison sentence.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:10 pm