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Michelle, Elected/Appointed Official
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4136
Experience:  30 + yrs in the legal profession incl. criminal, family, politics, legislator judiciary 6 yrs
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Provide examples of strict liability crimes and explain why ...

Customer Question

Provide examples of strict liability crimes and explain why there is not a mens rea requirement for criminal liability?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Michelle replied 9 years ago.


Strict liability crimes are those where there is no intent to do harm but a person is still held responsible for their actions.

Statutory rape is a strict liability crime -

Darlene, age 18 begins to date a young man she met at her college frat party and they begin to have sex. Later she finds out that he is the brother of one of frat boys and, heaven help her, a mere 15 and 1/2. In the thros of passion she never thought to ask for a birth cert or ID. The kid's (heck, she never asked his name) Mom wants to press charges. Even though she never intended to have sex with A minor she will still be held accountable.

Spanky has a pet snake that he found while hiking the Appalachians. He named him Fred. Not a snake expert, Spanky thought it was a harmless reptile of the "gardner" family. The snake got loose and bit Spanky's roommate causing him to die. Spanky had no intention of this happening. He meant to take the snake to the vet wherein he would have been told it was a Copperhead.

While driving home, Katie who is missing her favorite show "American Idol" exceeds the speed limit by 18 mph, she sweres to avoid hitting a deer and slams into the car coming in the opposite direction.

In each of those examples there is no mens rea - That is, they are crimes that do not require an intent to do something wrong or morally culpable. In other words, one is held responsible regardless of intention(s). Even though there is no guilty mind that usually makes a criminal morally blame worthy, they are held responsible for the actions.


If my answer has been helpful, please ACCEPT my answer so I get credit for my effort to help you . If I can be of further help, let me know. Appropriate FEEDBACK is appreciated as is a bonus. Thanks ~ Michelle


Michelle and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.

You gave positive feedback to both of my questions, that I need your help again. Can you answer the other question that I have posted, if the amount isn't enough I will consider going up a little, Im just a little tight this week.

Let me know
Thank You
Expert:  Michelle replied 9 years ago.


Let me check it out and I will let you knw. I am sure the deposit is fine. So, if I don't answer it, it is not because of the money but because I cannot ! I will give it a look.

Thanks ~ Michelle

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Here is some info you can use

Criminal liability is a term that is used to describe the degree of blameworthiness assigned to a defendant after he has been prosecuted and processed through the guilt phase. Blameworthiness/criminal liability is the extent to which a defendant is subject to penalties prescribed by criminal law. One of the purposes of a criminal trial if a defendant is found guilty is to determine the degree of criminal liability, if any. Discuss the distinction between legal guilt and factual guilt. Legal guilt is established only when the defendant has been found gulty by a trier of fact, and factual guilt addresses issues of whether or not the defendant is actually responsible for the crime. Keeping this in mind: THE QUESTION IS ALREADY POSTED.
Expert:  Michelle replied 9 years ago.

My schedule is tight and I do not feel that I can accurately answer your other question. Thanks for asking, however.

Best to you