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Robert S. Toale Motto
  • New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney

Intent can play a role in a criminal conviction

When a New Orleans resident is charged with a crime, their case is handled by a criminal prosecutor who must prove that all of the elements of the crime were met. For many crimes, an individual must have a certain mental state or intent to commit the crime in order to be found guilty. As such, when a person lacks the required mental state for the crime, they may have a defense to the criminal charge.

To consider this point, imagine an individual who causes an accident which leads to the death of another person. The individual did not intend for anyone to be hurt and did not intend for an accident to ever occur. In such a scenario, if the individual is charged with a crime, they may be able to demonstrate that they lacked the required mental state to commit the crime.

A person who intends to cause harm may not be able to utilize this defense. A criminal defense attorney can discuss the particulars of a person’s charge to determine if and how intent factors into the elements of the individual’s alleged crime.

Many crimes require an action and an intention for them to lead to convictions. When a person lacks the proper mental state to commit a crime, then they may not be criminally liable for the consequences of their actions. Readers of this post are reminded that this discussion of criminal intent is for informational purposes only and if guidance is needed, they should consult an attorney to discuss the aspects of their case.

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