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Re: Criminal intent-general v specific

July 12, 2019 11:50AM
Quote
waterfield
Because the "act" that is prohibited by DUI laws is the act of driving while under the influence. Not the act of drinking. It would stand the law on its head if a person found to be driving under the influence could argue that he is innocent because he was under the influence. There are strong public policy reasons why that argument cannot be made. The law presumes that a person obliterated from alcohol, getting into a car, starting the engine, and actually causing the car to move under power , is intending to drive the car. Simply put there is no ghost that has forced him into the car, start it and drive away. Indeed if that person then ran over and killed someone he -or she-could be convicted of 2d degree murder even though there was no intent to injure or kill someone. That would be called a "general intent" crime as opposed to a specific intent to do harm to an individual. In a general intent crime the intent at issue is the ACT itself, namely getting into the car while intoxicated and driving it. There is no need for the prosecution to prove you had an intent to injure someone while driving. But if you do injure someone the charges are escalated and if you kill someone it can become manslaughter or 2d degree murder.

Not sure who that is a response to, but yeah with a felony DUI, it does not matter what your intent was. I didn't mean to hurt anyone, that was the whiskey...no not a defense. You are judged on the action and its consequences in spite of the intent.

With unwanted contact, it does matter. If we accidently brush against someone in a crowded store, that's not a crime. We did not intend the action. If we deliberately grope an unwilling and unconsenting party in a sexual way for reasons having to do with our own sexual interest, then the intent makes it a crime.
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  Re: Criminal intent-general v specific

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