criminal law and procedure

Assault and Battery

Definition

Although colloquially used interchangeably, in many jurisdictions, assault and battery are distinct crimes. In such jurisdictions, assault (also called attempted battery) is a threat or physical act that creates a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact, whereas battery is a physical act that results in that harmful or offensive contact. Assault is a

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

Definition

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.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Magwood v. Patterson, 130 S.Ct. 2788 (2010)

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