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What are extenuating circumstances?

Find out what mitigating factors exist and their consequences!

Criminal law
What are extenuating circumstances?

Mitigating circumstances are described in article 21 of the Penal Code. Its existence results in the defendant being sentenced less than is normally appropriate.

What is an attenuated crime?

When mitigating factors concur in the commission of a crime, the criminal liability that had to be imposed will be reduced. Taking into account the extenuating circumstances that have existed, the punishment will be imposed in its lower half or even allow its reduction by up to two degrees.

What are the differences between aggravating and mitigating?

Mitigating and aggravating are opposite concepts and therefore have opposite consequences.

The difference between aggravating and mitigating is that the mitigating circumstance lowers the penalty to be imposed, while the aggravating circumstance increases the punishment, causing the punishment to be applied in its upper half or increased in degree.

It is possible that, in the same crime, there are both mitigating and aggravating circumstances, so that the rules established in article 66 of the Penal Code must be followed in order to set the sentence.

What are the extenuating circumstances contemplated by the Criminal Law?

Article 21 of the Criminal Code contains the mitigating factors that our criminal process contemplates, these being the following:

- The so-called incomplete defenses, which are the defense causes of article 20 when all its requirements are not met.

-That of acting guilty because of his serious addiction to alcoholic beverages, psychotropic substances or others that produce similar effects.

- That of acting for causes or stimuli so powerful that they have produced outburst, blindness or another passionate state of similar entity.

- That of the culprit proceeding to confess the infraction to the authorities before knowing that the judicial procedure is directed against him,

- That of the culprit proceeding to repair the damage caused to the victim, at any time during the procedure and prior to the holding of the oral trial.

- Extraordinary and undue delay in the processing of the procedure, provided that it is not attributable to the accused himself and that it is not proportionate to the complexity of the case.

– For excused reasons

The so-called incomplete defenses do not exempt from criminal responsibility, but they do influence the moment of assessing the imposition of punishment since their appreciation will make it possible to impose the sentence in its lower half or reduce it by one or two degrees.

– Due to drug addiction

Both drunkenness and being under the influence of drugs act as a mitigating factor, however, as long as said intoxication has not been provoked for the execution of the crime.

Its existence must be justified through analytical tests and through reports from treatment units for addictive behaviors to which the person under investigation is subjected.

– For passion

The attenuation by passion is not easy to demonstrate since it does not obey objective tests such as a toxicological report.

There are various graduations, a maximum degree of this attenuation would imply a transitory mental disorder, while a minimum expression would be a simple overheating.

To operate as a mitigating factor, there needs to be a proportion between the stimuli that have caused the emotional state and the reaction. Revenge is excluded in any case.

– By Confession

Confession is only considered mitigating when certain requirements are met, among which:

- Occur before the procedure is directed against the confessed.

- Be spontaneous.

- Be truthful.

– Decreased damage dealt

 This extenuating circumstance is very common, resulting in one of the simplest to prove, sufficing the simple judicial appropriation to be applied or the payment to the injured party.

Thus, once the amount of civil liability derived from the crime is known, it can be satisfied.

The amount paid may be in its entirety or a sufficiently large part depending on the circumstances.

– Undue or extraordinary delays

As its name indicates, it must be an unjustified delay in the processing of the matter taking into account its circumstances and, to be more specific, that it is not due to the defendant himself, but to the delay in the functioning of the judicial body.

If you want to know more about extenuating and exempting, call us.

Criminal law

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