Elements of a Crime

Business Law

Awareness of Duty

Definition: A person must be aware that they were supposed to or not supposed to do something.


If laws are on the books, people are expected to understand them and abide them within their parameters.


Most of the times crimes do not need this element.


Awareness of duty must be established to find someone guilty of liable.

Violation of Duty

Definition: once awareness of duty has been defined, this element comes into play and essentially means that the legal duty of a person has been neglected.


This element is very concise and well-known


In civil cases, this is an imperative element.

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Criminal Intent (Person's State of Mind)

Definition: a person's state of mind


Typically, this one especially applies to civil cases.


In some cases, this element can be used to determine between guilt and innocence.

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