There Are Four Levels of Intent in Federal Criminal Cases – Discover What They Are and Why They Matter

There Are Four Levels of Intent in Federal Criminal Cases – Discover What They Are and Why They Matter

In federal criminal cases, there are different levels of intent. The level of intent will affect both what the prosecution must prove and how your Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to request a free case evaluation from an experienced attorney.

  1. The defendant intentionally acted
  2. In certain federal criminal charges, the government just needs to show that the defendant acted “knowingly.” In general, this implies that the defendant was aware of what they were doing, but not necessarily that the activity was illegal. As a result, the defendant’s claim that they were unaware that their actions were illegal would be ineffective.

  3. The defendant intentionally acted
  4. Several federal criminal laws use the term “willfully.” The phrase ‘willfully’ indicates little more than that the forbidden act was done deliberately and with knowledge, and does not need proof of bad intent. An act is ‘willfully’ committed if it is done voluntarily, intentionally, and with the clear intent of breaking the law. To prove that a conduct was committed ‘willfully,’ the government does not need to show that the defendant had bad intent.

  5. The defendant acted with a broad purpose in mind
  6. “General intent” is one of the most common levels of intent used in federal criminal statutes. This term implies that the defendant’s actions have a specific goal. The government is only required to prove that the defendant acted with the general intent, the government is not required to prove that the defendant acted with specific intent.

  7. Specific intent
  8. Specific intent entails executing a criminal act with the objective of achieving a specified consequence. In most circumstances, specific purpose does not imply the intention to break a specific law. Many federal fraud statutes include the element of specific purpose. In this context, intent encompasses both intentional and unintentional behavior.

We can help you with these and other types of federal cases

No matter which of the above applies to your case, you can count on Chambers Law Firm being there to assist you from day one. All it takes is a call to us at 714-760-4088. You can speak to an experienced attorney who will take the time to listen to the specifics of your case, your concerns, and the evidence against you.

Once we have the basic facts, we can give you basic advice on your case. If you hire us, you can count on us getting into the details and fighting tirelessly for you. Call us now to get the ball rolling.

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