criminal law and procedure

Assault and Battery

Overview

Assault and battery exists in both the tort law context and the criminal law context.

Respectively, "assault" and "battery" are separate offenses. However, they often occur together, and that occurrence is referred to as "assault and battery."

Approach

Definition

To move towards the bench in order to have a conversation with the judge and opposing counsel off the record and/or out of the jury's earshot. An attorney or juror (during voir dire) must request to approach the bench, i.e. "Your honor, may I approach the bench?" 

Illustrative case law

See, e.g. People v. Maher, 675 N.E.2d 833 (N.Y. 1996).

Aggravating Circumstances

Overview

Aggravating circumstances refers to factors that increases the severity or culpability of a criminal act. Typically, the presence of an aggravating circumstance will lead to a harsher penalty for a convicted criminal

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