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Topics: Criminal law, Crimes, Suicide Pages: 3 (445 words) Published: April 29, 2014
Yannelly De Leon
General Intent vs. Specific Intent
“Intent: A determination to perform a particular act or to act in a particular manner for a specific reason; an aim or design; a resolution to use a certain means to reach an end.” [1] The difference between General Intent vs. Specific Intent is when the defendant commits a crime with a specific end in mind and general intent is when a defendant commits a crime with no specific result in mind.

General intent crime includes but is not limited to crimes such as manslaughter, negligent homicide, arson and rape. In a general intent crime it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the defendant intended the precise harm or the precise result that occurred. For example if you commit involuntary manslaughter because you ran over a person or had an accident while driving under the influence and killed someone, it is not necessary to prove that you intended to kill someone but just the sole fact that you decided to drive under the influence and therefore committed the crime you are convicted of involuntary manslaughter. [2]

However specific intent crimes include but are not limited to murder, attempt, conspiracy, solicitation, larceny and false imprisonment. When a defendant commits one of these crimes that defendant thought things through and is aware of each outcome for each crime committed. For example attempted murder requires a specific intent to kill, even though murder may require a lesser intent. [3] When a defendant commits murder that is a specific intent crime because the defendant knew that there was a very high risk of death or grievous bodily injury. [4]

In conclusion the difference between general and specific intent is the defendants’ intentions before committing the crime. If the defendant was reckless and negligent then it will be a general intent crime because he didn’t plan the outcome before committing the crime but he still committed it. However if the defendant...

Cited: 1. Burton’s Legal Thesaurus, 2007, Burton C. William:
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/intent
2. General Intent vs. Specific Intent, 05 May 2012, Author unknown: http://www.miblaw.com/lawschool/general-intent-vs-specific-intent/
3. Brookhart G. Daniel, Criminal Law Deskbook “Crimes and Defenses”, Volume II Charlottesville, Virginia 2010, page 2-1.
4. Specific and General Intent Crimes Lawyers, 09 September 2013, LaMance Ken: http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/specific-and-general-intent-crimes.html
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