White-collar or fraud-related crimes are financial crimes, whereby no one is hurt physically, but someone’s money or identity is stolen. In contrast, there are crimes of violence, such as physical or sexual assault, and murder.

Is Intent Important in a White-Collar Criminal Case?

Intent is important in any criminal case. Under the American Anglo-Saxon system of jurisprudence, the government must prove two things in order to prove someone’s guilt: actus reus and mens reus. These are Latin terms that mean the person did the act (actus reus), and the person had intent to commit the act (mens reus). For example, in a murder case, the government would have to show that the defendant actually pulled the trigger and killed the victim and that they formed intent and reflected on the crime before committing it.

In criminal law, there are some exceptions where intent is not required, such as with strict liability crimes. Usually, strict liability crimes involve statutory rape. For example, if an adult had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old, under normal circumstances the government wouldn’t have to show intent. This means that if the minor lied to the adult and showed a fake ID, under strict liability theory, the adult could be charged and prosecuted despite having had no intent to have sex with a minor.

The idea behind this is that adults should go the extra mile and take all sorts of precautions to ensure that they do not have sexual intercourse with a minor. Unfortunately, this law may lead to the prosecution of people who never intended to commit the crime of having sex with a minor. Those people will have to register as sex offenders and deal with all of the associated consequences. The theory of strict liability has been criticized by pundits and experts in the field of criminal law.

For more information on White-Collar Crimes in the State of New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 989-2908 today.

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