An act, condition, event, or
fact connected with another act, condition, event, or fact either as an
accessory or as a contributing or determining element.
A circumstance that increases the culpability or liability
of a person or the measure of damages or punishment for a crime or tort.
- An urgent situation that demands
extraordinary or immediate action. Such a circumstance often allows for the
circumvention of procedures that would otherwise be required by law. For
example, if a car hits a child, the fact that immediate medical attention is
needed to save the child’s life is an exigent circumstance that excuses the
physician’s treatment of the child before parental consent is
An urgent situation in which a law enforcement officer who has probable cause
must take immediate steps to make an arrest, search, or seizure without a
warrant because someone’s life or safety is at risk or because there is an
imminent threat that a suspect will escape or evidence will be removed or
circumstance (such as having a mental defect at the time of the wrongdoing)
that does not exonerate, but reduces the culpability of, a person for a tort or
crime he has committed and that may result in a reduction of the damages or
punishment to be imposed. See also diminished
circumstance (such as turning oneself in for arrest) that does not reduce a
person’s culpability for a crime he has committed, but that may result in a
reduction of the punishment to be imposed. See also negligence and defense.