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Criminal Intent And State Of Mind

New Jersey Criminal Intent and State of Mind Attorney

Union County Criminal Defense Lawyer

New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
Former County and Municipal Prosecutor

At The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, I have had countless charges dismissed or downgraded by showing that the prosecution failed to prove the required intent for a conviction. I understand the short cuts and assumptions made by the prosecution and law enforcement officials, and I conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of each case so that every avenue of relief is possible for my clients. If you would like to have an open and confidential conversation with an experienced New Jersey defense attorney, contact me today at 908-272-9700 for a free consultation at no obligation. I defend individuals throughout New Jersey including Hudson County, Middlesex County, and Union County including Elizabeth, Linden, Cranford, Westfield, Rahway, Roselle, Roselle Park, Clark, Plainfield, Hillside, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, and Garwood.

The Requirement of Intent

In New Jersey, a person cannot be convicted of a criminal offense unless he committed the crime with the proper intent or state of mind. Depending on the crime and the charge, different levels of intent are required for a conviction. One crime may require the defendant to have acted purposefully in order for a conviction to result, but another crime might only require a defendant to have acted negligently in order for a conviction to result. Take murder and manslaughter as an example. In order to convict a defendant of involuntary manslaughter, it must only be shown that the defendant killed someone while acting negligently, but to convict someone of murder, a higher level of intent is required, and the act must have been purposeful.

Levels of Intent

Different crimes require the prosecution to prove different levels of intent. One of the many ways I defeat charges is by proving that my client did not have the requisite state of mind to commit the crime. Listed below are the four possible levels of intent that are used in New Jersey.

  • Purposeful: A defendant has acted purposefully if he has the conscious goal to commit an act or create a result from that act.
  • Knowing: A defendant has acted knowingly if he understands the nature of his actions or the considerable probability that they exist.
  • Reckless: A defendant has acted recklessly if he is aware of the risk involved in his act and that the harm will probably occur, but he consciously disregards that risk
  • Negligent: A defendant has acted negligently if he ignores a large and inexcusable risk that a crime will occur as a result of his actions.

Defeating the Prosecution

Intent is one of several building blocks the prosecution must prove in order to obtain a conviction. If the requisite level of intent is not proved, the charge must be dismissed. I have a strong track record of eliminating charges by demonstrating a lack of intent. When I take a case, I take it to win. I take the time to listen to every detail of your story, and then I launch a rigorous investigation into the surrounding circumstances so that all facts reflecting on the defendant’s intent are brought to light and used against the prosecution.

For more information on your charge, the requisite level intent required for a conviction, and the probable outcome of proving your lack of intent in court, contact me today at 908-272-9700 for a free consultation at no obligation.

I defend individuals throughout New Jersey in Middlesex County, Essex County, and Union County in the towns of Elizabeth, Linden, Cranford, Westfield, Plainfield, Garwood, Clark, Roselle, Hillside, Roselle Park, Rahway, Scotch Plains, and Mountainside.

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