Utah Criminal Defense - Salt Lake Criminal Attorney
Utah Code 76-2-102 - Strict Liability - Culpable Mental State
Under Utah Code 76-2-101
criminal liability can be imposed for culpable mental states ranging
from intentional conduct to criminal negligence. Not every statute
defining a criminal offense contains a specific reference to a required
mental state. But the mere absence of a specified mental state does not
mean that the crime does not require proof of a culpable mental state.
under Utah Code 76-2-102, if the statute defining the crime does not
specifically state the required culpable mental state, then the crime
will require at a minimum proof of a reckless mental state. Where
recklessness is the minimum required mental state required, proof of
the higher mental states associated with intentional or knowing conduct
is also sufficient. (This is also consistent with Utah Code 76-2-104,
which establishes that proof of a higher culpable mental state is
sufficient to prove a lower culpable mental state.)
crimes require a combination of both prohibited conduct (actus reus) as
well as a culpable mental state (mens rea). But for some criminal
offenses, a defendant may be convicted without any evidence regarding
the defendant's mental state. Such crimes are often referred to as
"strict liability" offenses.
Under Utah Code 76-2-102, an
offense will only be treated as a strict liability crime "if the
statute defining the offense clearly indicates a legislative
purpose to impose criminal responsibility for commission of the conduct
prohibited by the statute without requiring proof of any culpable
Many relatively minor traffic-related offenses
under Title 41, Chapter 6a of the Utah Code are treated as strict
liability crimes. Certain administrative offenses are also treated as
strict liability crimes. These are generally less-serious crimes.
there is another set of very serious felony offenses under Utah law
that are treated as strict liability crimes. This group of crimes
includes offenses sometimes referred to as "statutory rape" crimes,
child kidnapping, and other crimes involving minor victims (under the
age of 18 years). See, Utah Code 76-2-304.5
Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City
A criminal conviction can carry serious consequences
. Even a misdemeanor
charge can carry the potential for jail time and substantial fines. Felony
charges carry possible prison time and thousands of dollars in fines. If
you are facing prosecution for criminal charges in Utah, an experienced
criminal defense lawyer can help ensure the best results for your case.
Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney
Stephen Howard has protected his clients' rights in thousands of felony
and misdemeanor cases, ranging from the most serious felony charges on
the books to less-serious misdemeanor charges. He has a track record
of achieving real results.
Mr. Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact
us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation.
RELATED CRIMINAL CODE SECTIONS
76-2-101 - Actus Reus and Mens Rea
Code 76-2-304 - Mistake of Fact and Ignorance of Law Defenses
More Utah Criminal
A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....