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Mens Rea (Intent)

Intent or Intention:

Defence will claim the accused’s actions were careless, accidental or by an impulsive reflex action.  Document the facts which support deliberate intent on the part of the accused.


Defence will claim accused had lacked knowledge of a key element. For example…

  • The accused did not know the other party was a police officer
  • The accused did not know the credit card was stolen
  • The accused did not know the guns were in his car
  • The accused did not know the white powder was a controlled substance


Wilful Blindness

When anticipating a defence argument regarding a “lack of knowledge” police should consider using the term “wilful blindness” to express an obvious lack of common sense, and a choice to remain ignorant, in the face of the facts you articulate


Seeing the risk but still taking the chance