Legal Dictionary

intent

Legal Definition of intent

Noun

  1. The state of mind in which or the purpose with which one does an act; also, the character that the law imputes to an act.

Related terms


Definition of intent

Etymology

    Existing since Middle English, from Old French entent or entente, ultimately from Latin intendere.

Pronunciation

  • (RP) IPA: /ɪnˈtɛnt/
  • Rhymes: -ɛnt

Noun

intent (countable and uncountable; plural intents)

  1. The purpose of something that is intended.
  2. (law) The state of someone's mind at the time of committing an [[offence].

Adjective

intent (comparative more intent, superlative most intent)

  1. Firmly fixed or concentrated on something.
  2. Engrossed.
  3. Unwavering from a course of action.

Further reading

Intent in law is the planning and desire to perform an act, to fail to do so (i.e. an omission) or to achieve a state of affairs. In psychological view it may mean a different thing.

In criminal law, for a given actus reus ("guilty act"), the required element to prove intent consists of showing mens rea (mental state, "guilty mind").

The requirements for the proof of intent in tort law are generally simpler than criminal law. Knowledge of the repercussions of the act is often not necessary. It is sometimes only a matter of showing that there was desire to perform an act.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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