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Specific Intent Crimes

July 19th, 2016 at 11:46 am

Specific Intent CrimesSome crimes in Illinois are referred to as “specific intent” crimes. These crimes require that the criminal defendant have the specific intent, or a particular state of mind, to do something in order to make a conviction of a criminal defendant for the crime. To think of this another way, the criminal defendant must have had a specific state of mind, or purpose, that was the reason behind committing the crime. The specific requisite intent is often defined in the criminal statute that governs over any particular specific intent crime that a defendant is charged with.

The good thing about specific intent crimes is that the prosecution has the burden of showing that the criminal defendant had the requisite state of mind that is needed to commit the alleged crime. Proving the necessary specific intent for a crime is often the prosecution’s weakest link in their case against the criminal defendant, as it is difficult to prove a person’s state of mind. Sometimes the prosecution’s whole case will turn on proving the requisite intent element of a crime, and the prosecution may only have circumstantial evidence to support its position. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can fight the prosecutors by attacking the weakest aspects of their case.

What Are Some of the Specific Intent Crimes in Illinois?

There are several specific intent crimes under Illinois law. Indeed, these types of crimes include:

  • Theft: In order to obtain a theft conviction, the criminal defendant must have the specific intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property of possession or use of the item that is stolen.
  • Theft by deception: The criminal defendant must have the intent to defraud or steal from the victim through an act of deception.
  • Burglary: For a burglary conviction, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or theft upon knowingly entering or remaining in a dwelling or building without authorization to be there.
  • Residential burglary: Again, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or a theft inside a dwelling where he or she is not authorized to be.
  • Battery and aggravated battery: The criminal defendant has to have the intent to cause serious bodily harm to the victim of the battery.
  • Attempt of committing a crime: Attempt charges require that the criminal defendant had the intention of committing a crime, but either failed or was unable to successfully commit the crime.

When the prosecution is unable to demonstrate that the criminal defendant had the requisite specific intent that is necessary to be convicted of the crime, the charges will be dismissed. It is important to work with an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer who knows how to attack the specific intent aspect of criminal charges in your defense.

When You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Anyone who is facing criminal charges in Illinois, for theft, burglary, battery, or any other crime should get in touch with a seasoned and experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Our attorneys are eager to assist you with your case today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36500000&SeqEnd=39200000

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