Manual Specific Intent

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Contents:
  1. Intention - Criminal Law Notebook
  2. Specific and General Intent in the Criminal Law
  3. General intent crimes in Colorado
  4. What Is a Specific Intent Crime?

The requisite intent is listed in the statute or code governing the crime.

Intention - Criminal Law Notebook

Determining specific intent in criminal law relies on the mental state, or mens rea , that an individual has when committing a crime. There must be a specific reason or objective. However, many times the prosecution can only prove the actions of the accused and fail to provide proof of mens rea.

Example: Auto theft is defined as the act of taking a car with the intent to deprive the owner of it permanently. In an auto theft case, the prosecution must prove that defendant intended to steal the car, as well as the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it.

General Intent

The distinction between specific and general intent crimes makes a huge difference when it comes to defense. If you are charged with a specific intent crime, the prosecution must prove that not only did you commit the crime, but that you also had the purpose to cause the result that is listed in the definition of the crime. If you have been convicted of a crime, Marlboro criminal defense lawyer Leon Matchin can help.

Specific and General Intent in the Criminal Law

Call today for a free consultation. Copyright Law Offices of Leon Matchin. Call Us Now : Reviews. May 9th, What is General Intent?


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What is Specific Intent? Specific intent crimes include: Larceny Murder Assault Forgery Embezzlement Inchoate Crimes attempt, solicitation, conspiracy Example: Auto theft is defined as the act of taking a car with the intent to deprive the owner of it permanently.

General intent crimes in Colorado

Does it Make a Difference? Voluntary intoxication occurs as a result of the voluntary consumption of alcohol or drugs provided that, in the case of a drug, it is well known for being liable to cause unpredictability or aggressiveness. LSD, amphetamine, etc.

Intoxication - The General Rule

However, where the defendant has voluntarily put himself in the position of being intoxicated to the extent that he is incapable of forming the mental element of the offence, this will amount to a defence in respect of a crime of specific intent. This principle is subject to the caveat that a drunken intent is still an intent: R v Sheehan and Moore 60 Cr App R NB : A person who deliberately makes himself intoxicated in order to give himself sufficient courage to commit an offence cannot raise a defence based on such intoxication, even to a crime of specific intent: AG for Northern Ireland v Gallagher [] AC Crimes of specific intent have sometimes been stated to include crimes where the offence can only be committed intentionally i.

Another definition often used is where the offence requires an ulterior intent i.

Drunken mistakes are generally no defence to crimes of basic intent: R v Fotheringham 88 Cr App R However, where a statute e. Section 5 2 a Criminal Damage Act provides a limited defence based on a genuine belief, the mistake may be relied on even where the mistake was induced by voluntary intoxication: Jaggard v Dickinson [] 1 QB Where a defendant is labouring under a mistaken belief that they are under attack and acting in self-defence, they cannot rely on such mistaken belief where it was induced by voluntary intoxication.

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What Is a Specific Intent Crime?

Furthermore, automatism is not available to a defendant who has induced an acute state of involuntary behaviour as a result of his own voluntary consumption of intoxicants: R v Coley; R v McGhee; R v Harris [] Crim. In Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary has held that automatism cannot be established as a defence to a charge of driving with excess alcohol upon proof of a transitory state of parasomnia sleep-walking resulting from and induced by deliberate and self-induced intoxication: Finegan v Heywood, The Times, May 10, Although this decision is not binding upon the courts in England and Wales, it is a persuasive authority.

The Code for Crown Prosecutors is a public document, issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions that sets out the general principles Crown Prosecutors should follow when they make decisions on cases.


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  7. This guidance assists our prosecutors when they are making decisions about cases. It is regularly updated to reflect changes in law and practice. Contrast Switch to colour theme Switch to blue theme Switch to high visibility theme Switch to soft theme.