An aggravated crime or tort is one that is committed under circumstances that allow for increased punishments over what the crime/tort would usually receive. Circumstances necessary to raise a standard crime to the aggravated variant of that crime are typically laid out in statute.
In Texas for example, a person’s assault charge can be raised to an aggravated assault charge if they cause serious bodily injury to another person or used a deadly weapon during the assault. Although standard assault is a misdemeanor, aggravated assault is always a felony.
The circumstances necessary to raise an offense into the aggravated version are known as aggravating factors.
[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]