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CHANCE Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In criminal law. An accident ; an unexpected, unforeseen, or uuin- tended consequence of an act; a fortuitous event. The opposite of intention, design, or contrivance. There is a wide difference between chance and accident. The one is the intervention of some unlooked-for circumstance to prevent an expected result; the other is the uncalculated effect of mere luck. The shot discharged at random strikes its object by chance; that which is turned aside from its well-directed aim by some unforeseen circumstance misses its mark by accident. Pure chance consists in the entire absence of all the means of calculating results ; accident, in the unusual prevention of an effect naturally resulting from the means employed. Harless v. U. S., Morris (Iowa) 173.


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