by Douglas Sughrue, Esq. Douglas Sughrue, Esq. No Comments

The difference that “mens rea” can make

Some readers from Pennsylvania may wish to know more about how “mens rea” is handled in law. The term, which is Latin for “guilty mind,” has a number of applications that can play a vital role in the prosecution of a criminal case.

Mens rea is essentially the state of mind a person had at the time a crime was committed. In terms of sentencing, someone who did not intend a crime may be viewed to be less culpable than someone who acted maliciously, and this could lead to a more lenient punishment upon conviction. This is known as determining the motive of a defendant. Knowing a defendant’s motivation for the crime in question can also aid criminal defense attorneys during the mitigation process as a whole.

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