North Carolina
Criminal Defense Lawyers
Best Criminal Defense. Get Your Charges, Reduced, Dropped or Expunged Now!
Call and tell us about your case
north-carolina-criminal-defense-not-guilty-verdict-criminal-law

Here’s how to get started on your legal defense

Scope of criminal liability

In criminal lawstrict liability is liability for which mens rea (Latin for "guilty mind") does not have to be proven in relation to one or more elements comprising the actus reus (Latin for "guilty act") although intentionrecklessness or knowledge may be required in relation to other elements of the offense. The liability is said to be strict because defendants could be convicted even though they were genuinely ignorant of one or more factors that made their acts or omissions criminal. The defendants may therefore not be culpable in any real way, i.e. there is not even criminal negligence, the least blameworthy level of mens rea.

Strict liability laws were created[where?] in the 19th century to improve working and safety standards in factories. Needing to prove mens reas on the part of the factory owners was very difficult and resulted in very few prosecutions. The creation of strict liability offenses meant that convictions were increased. Common strict liability offenses today include the selling of alcohol to underage persons and statutory rape.

These laws are applied either in regulatory offenses enforcing social behaviour where minimal stigma attaches to a person upon conviction, or where society is concerned with the prevention of harm, and wishes to maximise the deterrent value of the offense. The imposition of strict liability may operate very unfairly in individual cases. For example, in Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Storkwain,[1] a pharmacist supplied drugs to a patient who presented a forged doctor's prescription, but was convicted even though the House of Lords accepted that the pharmacist was blameless. The justification is that the misuse of drugs is a grave social evil and pharmacists should be encouraged to take even unreasonable care to verify prescriptions before supplying drugs. Similarly, where liability is imputed or attributed to another through vicarious liability or corporate liability, the effect of that imputation may be strict liability albeit that, in some cases, the accused will have a mens rea imputed and so, in theory, will be as culpable as the actual wrongdoer.

As the federal constitution entrenches a right of due process, the United States usually applies strict liability to only the most minor crimes or infractions. One example is a parking violation, where the state only needs to show that the defendant's vehicle was parked inappropriately at a certain curb. Serious crimes like rape and murder usually require some showing of culpability or mens rea. Otherwise, every accidental death, even during medical treatment in good faith, could become grounds for a murder prosecution and a prison sentence.

A serious offense in which strict liability tends to show up is in drunk driving laws; the punishment tends to be given on a strict liability basis, with no mens rea requirement at all. This was important for the purposes of a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2004, Leocal v. Ashcroft, where a deportation order was overturned because the conviction that led to the deportation order was a strict liability law, while deportation was only allowed upon conviction if the crime was a "crime of violence" (where violence, or the potential for it, was inherent in the crime itself).

In many states, statutory rape is considered a strict liability offense. In these states, 22 as of 2007, it is possible to face felony charges despite not knowing the age of the other person, or even if the minor presented identification showing an age of eighteen or higher. The American Law Institute's Model Penal Code generally restricts strict liability to minor offenses ("violations").[13]

However, in United States v. Kantor[14], which concerned underage pornographic actress Traci Lords, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals introduced a "good faith" defense against crimes in which the victim intentionally tricked the defendants into a factual mistake thinking that no crime was being committed.[15] A "good faith" defense requires showing that the defendant affirmatively had reason to believe that they were not committing a crime, not simply a lack of knowledge that they were.

    •  

Don't allow this mistake to haunt you for the rest of your life.
Call our criminal law firm now to start building your defense.

Speak to a lawyer now

Don't allow a criminal charge to ruin your life.
Call now to get your charges reduced, dropped, or expunged.

Speak to a lawyer now

Areas We Serve in North Carolina

No matter where you have been accused of a crime,
North Carolina Criminal Defense is at your side.

Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, High Point, Concord, Greenville, Asheville, Gastonia, Jacksonville, Chapel Hill, Huntersville, Rocky Mount, Apex, Burlington, Kannapolis, Wilson, Wake Forest, Hickory, Indian Trail, Mooresville, Holly Springs, Monroe, Goldsboro, Salisbury, Matthews, Garner, New Bern, Sanford, Cornelius, Fuquay-Varina, Morrisville, Mint Hill, Statesville, Thomasville, Asheboro, Kernersville, Clayton, Leland, Carrboro, Lumberton, Clemmons, Havelock, Kinston, Shelby, Boone, Lexington, Lenoir, Elizabeth City, Knightdale

Book your free consultation now

North Carolina Criminal Defense

Criminal defense law firms

Headquarters

Charlotte, NC
Monday – Sunday 24/7
Free Consultation
booksmartphonethumbs-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
[gravityform id="2" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]
<script type="text/javascript">var gform;gform||(document.addEventListener("gform_main_scripts_loaded",function(){gform.scriptsLoaded=!0}),window.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",function(){gform.domLoaded=!0}),gform={domLoaded:!1,scriptsLoaded:!1,initializeOnLoaded:function(o){gform.domLoaded&&gform.scriptsLoaded?o():!gform.domLoaded&&gform.scriptsLoaded?window.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",o):document.addEventListener("gform_main_scripts_loaded",o)},hooks:{action:{},filter:{}},addAction:function(o,n,r,t){gform.addHook("action",o,n,r,t)},addFilter:function(o,n,r,t){gform.addHook("filter",o,n,r,t)},doAction:function(o){gform.doHook("action",o,arguments)},applyFilters:function(o){return gform.doHook("filter",o,arguments)},removeAction:function(o,n){gform.removeHook("action",o,n)},removeFilter:function(o,n,r){gform.removeHook("filter",o,n,r)},addHook:function(o,n,r,t,i){null==gform.hooks[o][n]&&(gform.hooks[o][n]=[]);var e=gform.hooks[o][n];null==i&&(i=n+"_"+e.length),gform.hooks[o][n].push({tag:i,callable:r,priority:t=null==t?10:t})},doHook:function(n,o,r){var t;if(r=Array.prototype.slice.call(r,1),null!=gform.hooks[n][o]&&((o=gform.hooks[n][o]).sort(function(o,n){return o.priority-n.priority}),o.forEach(function(o){"function"!=typeof(t=o.callable)&&(t=window[t]),"action"==n?t.apply(null,r):r[0]=t.apply(null,r)})),"filter"==n)return r[0]},removeHook:function(o,n,t,i){var r;null!=gform.hooks[o][n]&&(r=(r=gform.hooks[o][n]).filter(function(o,n,r){return!!(null!=i&&i!=o.tag||null!=t&&t!=o.priority)}),gform.hooks[o][n]=r)}});</script> <div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_2' ><div id='gf_2' class='gform_anchor' tabindex='-1'></div><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' target='gform_ajax_frame_2' id='gform_2' action='/criminal-law/scope-of-criminal-liability#gf_2' > <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_2' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_2_1" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_1' >Email</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_2_1' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_2_2" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_2' >Phone</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_phone'><input name='input_2' id='input_2_2' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /></div></li><li id="field_2_3" class="gfield gform_validation_container field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_3' >Comments</label><div class='ginput_container'><input name='input_3' id='input_2_3' type='text' value='' /></div><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_2_3'>This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.</div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_2' class='gform_button button' value='Yes! Please help me!' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_2"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_2"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_2"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_2"]=true; jQuery("#gform_2").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_ajax' value='form_id=2&amp;title=&amp;description=&amp;tabindex=0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_2' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='2' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_2' value='WyJbXSIsIjk1ZjQ5NGRjOGMxZjViODlmNDg0ZTBlZWI1MmM1ZWFjIl0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_2' id='gform_target_page_number_2' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_2' id='gform_source_page_number_2' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div> <iframe style='display:none;width:0px;height:0px;' src='about:blank' name='gform_ajax_frame_2' id='gform_ajax_frame_2' title='This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.'></iframe> <script type="text/javascript"> gform.initializeOnLoaded( function() {gformInitSpinner( 2, 'https://criminaldefensenc.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery('#gform_ajax_frame_2').on('load',function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find('*').html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf('GF_AJAX_POSTBACK') >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_wrapper_2');var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_confirmation_wrapper_2').length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf('gformRedirect(){') >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery('html').css('margin-top'), 10) + parseInt(jQuery('body').css('margin-top'), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass('gform_validation_error')){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').addClass('gform_validation_error');} else {jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').removeClass('gform_validation_error');}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').offset().top - mt); }, 50 );if(window['gformInitDatepicker']) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window['gformInitPriceFields']) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery('#gform_source_page_number_2').val();gformInitSpinner( 2, 'https://criminaldefensenc.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery(document).trigger('gform_page_loaded', [2, current_page]);window['gf_submitting_2'] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK').html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}setTimeout(function(){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gf_2').offset().top - mt);jQuery(document).trigger('gform_confirmation_loaded', [2]);window['gf_submitting_2'] = false;wp.a11y.speak(jQuery('#gform_confirmation_message_2').text());}, 50);}else{jQuery('#gform_2').append(contents);if(window['gformRedirect']) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [2, current_page]);} );} ); </script>
[gravityform id="2" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_2' ><div id='gf_2' class='gform_anchor' tabindex='-1'></div><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' target='gform_ajax_frame_2' id='gform_2' action='/criminal-law/scope-of-criminal-liability#gf_2' > <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_2' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_2_1" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_1' >Email</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_2_1' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_2_2" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_2' >Phone</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_phone'><input name='input_2' id='input_2_2' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /></div></li><li id="field_2_3" class="gfield gform_validation_container field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_3' >Comments</label><div class='ginput_container'><input name='input_3' id='input_2_3' type='text' value='' /></div><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_2_3'>This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.</div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_2' class='gform_button button' value='Yes! Please help me!' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_2"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_2"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_2"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_2"]=true; jQuery("#gform_2").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_ajax' value='form_id=2&amp;title=&amp;description=&amp;tabindex=0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_2' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='2' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_2' value='WyJbXSIsIjk1ZjQ5NGRjOGMxZjViODlmNDg0ZTBlZWI1MmM1ZWFjIl0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_2' id='gform_target_page_number_2' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_2' id='gform_source_page_number_2' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div> <iframe style='display:none;width:0px;height:0px;' src='about:blank' name='gform_ajax_frame_2' id='gform_ajax_frame_2' title='This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.'></iframe> <script type="text/javascript"> gform.initializeOnLoaded( function() {gformInitSpinner( 2, 'https://criminaldefensenc.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery('#gform_ajax_frame_2').on('load',function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find('*').html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf('GF_AJAX_POSTBACK') >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_wrapper_2');var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_confirmation_wrapper_2').length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf('gformRedirect(){') >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery('html').css('margin-top'), 10) + parseInt(jQuery('body').css('margin-top'), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass('gform_validation_error')){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').addClass('gform_validation_error');} else {jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').removeClass('gform_validation_error');}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').offset().top - mt); }, 50 );if(window['gformInitDatepicker']) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window['gformInitPriceFields']) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery('#gform_source_page_number_2').val();gformInitSpinner( 2, 'https://criminaldefensenc.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery(document).trigger('gform_page_loaded', [2, current_page]);window['gf_submitting_2'] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK').html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}setTimeout(function(){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gf_2').offset().top - mt);jQuery(document).trigger('gform_confirmation_loaded', [2]);window['gf_submitting_2'] = false;wp.a11y.speak(jQuery('#gform_confirmation_message_2').text());}, 50);}else{jQuery('#gform_2').append(contents);if(window['gformRedirect']) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [2, current_page]);} );} ); </script>
[gravityform id="2" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_2' ><div id='gf_2' class='gform_anchor' tabindex='-1'></div><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' target='gform_ajax_frame_2' id='gform_2' action='/criminal-law/scope-of-criminal-liability#gf_2' > <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_2' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_2_1" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_1' >Email</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_2_1' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_2_2" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_2' >Phone</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_phone'><input name='input_2' id='input_2_2' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /></div></li><li id="field_2_3" class="gfield gform_validation_container field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2_3' >Email</label><div class='ginput_container'><input name='input_3' id='input_2_3' type='text' value='' /></div><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_2_3'>This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.</div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_2' class='gform_button button' value='Yes! Please help me!' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_2"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_2"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_2"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_2"]=true; jQuery("#gform_2").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_ajax' value='form_id=2&amp;title=&amp;description=&amp;tabindex=0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_2' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='2' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_2' value='WyJbXSIsIjk1ZjQ5NGRjOGMxZjViODlmNDg0ZTBlZWI1MmM1ZWFjIl0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_2' id='gform_target_page_number_2' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_2' id='gform_source_page_number_2' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div> <iframe style='display:none;width:0px;height:0px;' src='about:blank' name='gform_ajax_frame_2' id='gform_ajax_frame_2' title='This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.'></iframe> <script type="text/javascript"> gform.initializeOnLoaded( function() {gformInitSpinner( 2, 'https://criminaldefensenc.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery('#gform_ajax_frame_2').on('load',function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find('*').html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf('GF_AJAX_POSTBACK') >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_wrapper_2');var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_confirmation_wrapper_2').length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf('gformRedirect(){') >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery('html').css('margin-top'), 10) + parseInt(jQuery('body').css('margin-top'), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass('gform_validation_error')){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').addClass('gform_validation_error');} else {jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').removeClass('gform_validation_error');}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').offset().top - mt); }, 50 );if(window['gformInitDatepicker']) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window['gformInitPriceFields']) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery('#gform_source_page_number_2').val();gformInitSpinner( 2, 'https://criminaldefensenc.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery(document).trigger('gform_page_loaded', [2, current_page]);window['gf_submitting_2'] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK').html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}setTimeout(function(){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_2').replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gf_2').offset().top - mt);jQuery(document).trigger('gform_confirmation_loaded', [2]);window['gf_submitting_2'] = false;wp.a11y.speak(jQuery('#gform_confirmation_message_2').text());}, 50);}else{jQuery('#gform_2').append(contents);if(window['gformRedirect']) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [2, current_page]);} );} ); </script>