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Mistake of Law is No Excuse

The prior article examined strict liability crimes, which are crimes a person can be liable for even though he lacks the intent to commit the crime. The mistake of law is similar, in that one can be liable for a crime even though he did not know about the criminal law.

Using a Fake Id in Texas: It is a Crime

There can be serious legal implications for obtaining, possessing and using a fake id. This article examines Texas law that makes it a crime to obtain, possess, or use a fake id.

Strict Liablity Crimes: When Intent is Not Required

We examined a number of issues related to crime and punishment. The emphasis of the prior articles was criminal liability imposed on persons who intend to commit crimes. This brings us to criminal liability imposed on persons who commit crimes without any intent to do so. These crimes are often referred to as strict liability […]

The Mistake of Fact Defense: Negating Intent

We have considered the intent or mens rea requirement for criminal liability. Criminal statues generally impose an intent requirement. This raises the question, what if someone makes a mistake of a fact and did not intend to commit an act that gave rise to criminal liability? One can view mistakes of fact in terms of […]

Mental State Required for Criminal Liability

We have considered the actions required for criminal liability. Crimes require an overt act or, in some cases, a failure to act. In addition to a criminal act, criminal statutes often have an intent requirement. This intent requirement is often referred to using the term mens rea.


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