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