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The intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused.Compare with actus reus
planning, intent, forethought, pre-planning, advance planning, prearrangement, deliberationView synonyms
- ‘An injury caused without mens rea might be grounds for civil liability but typically not for criminal.’
- ‘There was no requirement in the relevant act that his mens rea should relate to a named victim.’
- ‘The mens rea or mental element of a crime is usually based on the intention of the accused at the time.’
- ‘The lack of mens rea is what protects a two-year-old from facing charges of theft.’
- ‘If there is no mens rea such as in an accident, an individual cannot be found guilty of a crime requiring criminal intent.’
Mid 19th century: Latin, literally guilty mind.
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