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Questions tagged [mens-rea]

Term of art referring to a "guilty mind," and a required element for some crimes.

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How can mens rea in illegal staring be proved beyond reasonable doubt?

I saw this in London tube the other day: Intrusive staring of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and is not tolerated. See it or experience it on public transport? Always report by texting British ...
Greendrake's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does the UK have an equivalent to the Cheek defence?

In essence, in the UK, can someone raise a defence of an unreasonable yet good-faith misunderstanding if charged with tax evasion? In Cheek v. US, the US Supreme Court stated that a defendant’s mere ...
BakedAlaska624's user avatar
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Is a person guilty of theft if they hold a sincere but mistaken belief that they own the stolen property? [duplicate]

Alice believes, on good reason, that an item belongs to her, but in fact it belongs to Bob. If Alice attempts to take the item for herself, is she guilty of theft? What if Alice already has the item ...
Purple P's user avatar
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8 votes
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Lack of mens rea defence to robbery

Rob forcibly grabs an item from Bob's hands, genuinely believing that it is his (Rob's) item and that Bob is possessing it unlawfully. Rob does so while knowing that Bob contends that the item is his (...
Greendrake's user avatar
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26 votes
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Can I trick an innocent third party into doing something that would be illegal if the third party had mens rea without either of us being guilty?

Lets say I want something to happen but doing it directly would be a crime. This is one crime that requires intent or mens rea. So I hunt down an innocent third party, someone naïve, perhaps even a ...
dsollen's user avatar
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12 votes
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Does indecent exposure require intentionality?

Meet Bob. Bob went out on the town wearing boxer shorts which in itself is entirely legal. A security guard pointed out to Bob that his shorts were unbuttoned so Bob buttoned them up. They later ...
JosephCorrectEnglishPronouns's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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What was the mens rea of being a common scold?

The obsolete offence of being a common scold is somewhat quaintly described by Blackstone (IV:13.5.8, p. 169) as Lastly, a common scold, communis rixatrix, (for our law-latin confines it to the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
3 votes
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Does Mens rea need to be concious?

Mens rea or "guilty mind" is the mental element of a person's intention to commit a crime; or knowledge that one's action or lack of action would cause a crime to be committed. It is a ...
User65535's user avatar
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6 votes
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How does good faith defense work with a strict liability law?

I was scanning Wikipedia's article on strict liability in the US and it has this quote: However, in United States v. Kantor,[15] which concerned underage pornographic actress Traci Lords, the Ninth ...
dsollen's user avatar
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3 votes
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Can you establish a "guilty mind" if the defendant is a victim of blackmail?

For many criminal offences, from what I understand, you have to establish 2 aspects: actus reus (the act of crime), and mens rea (the guilty mind). The mens rea can be many things: from as direct as ...
RobertPham's user avatar
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If a man has sex with a girl he thinks is underage, but the girl is actually not, did he commit a crime?

As the title suggested. if a man has sex with a girl he thinks is underage, but the girl is actually not, did he commit a crime? I'd think he did, since I have seen a lot of cases where the police ...
Matt Frank's user avatar
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1 answer
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How is a corporate person, a person?

Law with respect to the human person, rests on intention, or a neglect of intention. A corporate person, has no access to intention - it is only human persons, behind the veil of the corporate person,...
Ilya Grushevskiy's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
394 views

Can a jury find guilt based mainly on "mens rea?"

In the actual Frank Quattrone case, the conviction of the investment banker was overturned by an appeallate court, because the trial judge had wrongly instructed the jury to disregard "mens rea" (...
Libra's user avatar
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2 votes
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Mens Rea and Changing Law

Imagine I buy and sell coffee products, and have done so legally for many years. However, the FDA decides that coffee is a carcinogen, an addictive drug, and extremely dangerous, and consequently ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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If one is mistaken about whether consent is required, is that a defence to sexual assault in Canada or similar jurisdictions?

In "Canadian man found not guilty of raping wife", a sexual assault prosecution failed due to mens rea because it wasn't proved that the man knew his behaviour was illegal. Not because he ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
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1 answer
1k views

How does a prosecutor determine intent?

When prosecutors look at a statute, how do they determine the requirements to prove intent? For example, look at this statute: “Whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected ...
London Jennings's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
630 views

Does US criminal law recognize objective elements that don't require mens rea?

In German law, there is a legal construct called "Tatbestandsannex" or "objektive Bedingung der Strafbarkeit". These are necessary conditions for criminal liability for which no corresponding mens rea ...
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