Aberrant Behavior Law and Legal Definition

Aberrant Behavior is a single act of unplanned or thoughtless criminal behavior. The factors of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist have been labeled as follows: (I) irritability, agitation, crying; (ii) lethargy, social withdrawal; (iii) stereotypic behavior; (IV) hyperactivity, noncompliance; and (v) inappropriate speech. Many courts have held that aberrant behavior justifies a downward departure. That is, a more lenient sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines, based on a comment in the introduction to the Guidelines Manual to the effect that the guidelines do not deal with single acts of aberrant behavior. [U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual, ch. 1, pt. A, 11 4]