Mitigate Law and Legal Definition

The word mitigate means to reduce lessen or make less severe or harsh. In Criminal law mitigation of punishment refers to reduction in punishment due to mitigating circumstances that reduce the criminal's level of culpability. Mitigating circumstance in criminal law can be a fact or situation that does not bear on the question of a defendant's guilt but that is considered by the court in imposing punishment especially to lessen the severity of a sentence. For example the existence of no prior convictions is a mitigating circumstance. Likewise in civil law, mitigation of damages refers to reduction of damages.