Extenuating Circumstances

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Extenuating Circumstances




What is the dictionary definition of Extenuating Circumstances?

Dictionary Definition


n. surrounding factors (sometimes called mitigation) which make a crime appear less serious, less aggravated or without criminal intent, and thus warranting a more lenient punishment or lesser charge (manslaughter rather than murder, for example).


Full Definition of Extenuating Circumstances


Extenuating circumstances also called mitigating factors are conditions which lower the culpability of the offender when they commit the crime and may be used to mitigate or lower the punishment. Extenuating factors are generally considered in the penalty or sentencing phase of the trial.

Extenuating circumstances will not excuse or justify the criminal conduct of the accused. Common factors which can be considered “extenuating” can include abuse in childhood, mental issues, a defendant’s youth, whether the convicted offender shows remorse, whether the crime was committed in the heat of passion and lack of a prior criminal record.


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Extenuating Circumstances are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 28th April, 2020 | 15 Views.