Two Types of Legal Intent: “Criminal” And “Civil”:

Criminal Intent: also known as “mens rea” or “criminal intent” it is the foundation of all criminal law. Our criminal  justice system demands that before one can be found guilty of a crime, the state must show that the person intended to do the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Without intent there can be no crime.

Civil Intent: is a required element of certain civil wrongs such as battery, which is an intentional and offensive touching of another. These types of torts (civil wrongs) allow a plaintiff to plead and prove punitive damages which is normally considered a degree of maliciousness and despicable behavior. The burden of proof in order to recover punitive damages (also referred to exemplary damages) is by clear and convincing evidence.

« Back to Glossary Index

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *