Legal Articles

Brexit Explained For Those Who Don’t Live In The UK

“Brexit” is short for British Exit, coined for the British deciding to leave the European Union. Their exit from the union became official as of Jan. 31, 2020. But Brexit started on June 23, 2016, and the repercussions from this move are far from over.  But before we get into that, and even more importantly […]

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5 Great Home-Based Business Ideas

For many people the ultimate dream is being able to work from home and be their own bosses. While a home-based business has lots of challenging aspects, it is actually much easier to begin a home-based business than many people realize. Far from being an unattainable luxury, a home-based business could be a practical means […]

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(Lat. onus probandi.) In the law of evidence. The necessity or duty of affirmatively proving a fact or facts in dispute on an issue raised between the parties in a cause. Willett v. Rich, 142 Mass. 356, 7 N. E. 776. 56 Am. Rep. 6S4; Wilder v. Cowles. 100 Mass. 4!X); People v. McCann, 16 N. Y. 58, 69 Am. Dec. 642. The term “burden of proof” is not to be confused with “prima facie case.” When the party upon whom the burden of proof rests has made out a prima facie case, this will, in general, suffice to shift the burden. In other words, the former expression denotes the necessity of establishing the latter. Kendall v. Brownson, 47 N. H. 200; Carver v. Carver, 97 Ind. 511; Heinemann v. Heard, 62 N. Y. 455; Feurt v. Ambrose, 34 Mo. App. 366; Gibbs v. Bank, 123 Iowa, 736, 99 N. W. 703.

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In the civil law. A union of fortunes; a lawful Roman marriage. Also, the Joining of several persons as parties to one action. In old English law, the term signified company or society. In the language of pleading, (as in the phrase per quod consortium amisit) it means the companionship or society of a wife. Bigaouette v. Paulet, 134 Mass. 123. 45 Am. Rep. 307; Lockwood v. Lockwood, 67 Minn. 476, 70 N. W. 7S4; Kelley v. Railroad Co., 108 Mass. 308, 46 N. E. 1063, 38 L. R- A. 631, 60 Am. St. Rep. 397.

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The intent to commit a crime: malice, as evidenced by a criminal act; an intent to deprive or defraud the true owner of his property. People v. Moore. 3 N. Y. Cr. R. 458.  (source: Black’s Law Dictionary)

Criminal Intent: Overview

Criminal intent is a necessary component of a “conventional” crime and involves a conscious decision on the part of one party to injure or deprive another. It is one of three categories of “mens rea,” the basis for the establishment of guilt in a criminal case. There are multiple shades of criminal intent that may be applied in situations ranging from outright premeditation to spontaneous action.

It is possible to establish criminal intent even when a crime is not premeditated. Individuals who commit a crime spontaneously may still understand that their actions will cause harm to another party and contravene existing criminal law. In other words, an individual that takes or withholds action with the knowledge that such behavior will lead to the commission of a crime can be said to possess criminal intent.

Criminal Intent: What You Should Know

While criminal intent is a necessary component of mens rea in virtually every modern legal system, its particulars may vary between jurisdictions. There often exists a distinction between “basic intent” and “specific intent.”

Since it requires a lighter burden of proof, the former is used more often to establish criminal intent. For instance, an individual who strikes a pedestrian crossing the street in a marked crosswalk can be said to have exhibited “basic intent” whether or not they intended to cause the pedestrian harm. There are two reasons for this. First, the driver may have ignored state and local law requiring vehicles to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Absent such laws, the driver either failed to pay close attention to the road ahead or assumed that the pedestrian would be able to avoid their oncoming vehicle. In either case, the driver abdicated their legal responsibility to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of others on the road.

“Specific intent” is invoked less frequently and often applies to cases in which the accused intends to commit a crime but has not yet done so. It may be used to justify preventive detentions associated with terrorism, treason or sabotage. For instance, an individual who has communicated his intent to assassinate an official may be judged to exhibit specific intent on the basis of his or her pronouncements.

Criminal intent may be further categorized as either “direct” or “oblique.” Defined as a desire to commit a specific act in the expectation that it will result in a specific outcome, the former may be used to prove premeditation. For instance, an individual who purchases a firearm and uses it in a mugging exhibits direct intent to threaten another with deadly force.

By contrast, “oblique” intent may be used to establish guilt in cases that involve unintended consequences. An individual who undertakes a specific action with the knowledge that it may cause certain consequences can be said to have oblique intent. For instance, an individual who injures someones by firing a gun into the air near a crowd may be held responsible for that injury despite a lack of direct intent to cause harm.

Video on Criminal Intent

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The former term is applicable when the amount of the damages has been ascertained by the judgment in the action, or when a specific sum of money has been expressly stipulated by the parties to a bond or other contract as the amount of damages to be recovered by either party for a breach of the agreement by the other. Watts v. Shep- pard, 2 Ala. 445; Smith v. Smith, 4 Wend. (N. Y.) 470: Keeble v. Keeble, 85 Ala. 552, 5 South. 149: Eakin v. Scott, 70 Tex. 442, 7 S. W. 777. Unliquidated damages are such as are not yet reduced to a certainty in respect of amount, nothing more being established than the plaintiff’s right to recover; or such as cannot be fixed by a mere mathematical calculation from ascertained data in the case. Cox v. Mclaughlin, 76 Cal. 60, 18 Pac. 100, 9 Am. St. Rep. 164.

TLD Example 1: The contract contained a liquidated damages clause, so the plaintiff in the breach of contract lawsuit did not have to prove the amount of its losses.

TLD Example 2: Personal injury lawsuits require a victim to present evidence establishing the amount of its unliquidated damages in order to receive compensation.

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