Specific and general intent crimes in Oklahoma require different types of proof for the prosecutor to get a conviction. In criminal law, intent refers to the state of mind of the perpetrator at the time the crime was committed. Specific intent crimes require the perpetrator to have a particular purpose or objective in mind when committing the crime, while general intent crimes do not require a specific purpose or objective. As with all crimes in the state, the prosecutor must show the intent to commit the act or crime. The intent is referred to as the mens rea or mental state while the act is called the actus rea. Both are elements of a crime that have to be proven by the state or they cant get a conviction.
Intent Crime Differences
In Oklahoma, there is a difference between the two types of intent crimes. Specific intent crimes require the perpetrator to have a particular purpose or intent to commit the crime, such as with crimes like first-degree murder, burglary, and larceny. This kind of crime requires the person commits the crime and intends for a specific result to occur. Like first degree murder where the defendant actually harmed the purpose and they did so with the specific intent to murder the victim. In these cases, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to commit the crime.
On the other hand, general intent crimes in Oklahoma only require the prosecution to prove that the defendant intended to commit the act that led to the crime, without requiring a specific intent or purpose. Examples of general intent crimes include simple assault, battery, and reckless driving. In general intent crimes like reckless driving the accused did drive recklessly but the harm that may have happened to the victim.
Mental State Makes The Difference
Overall, the main difference between the two crimes in Oklahoma is that the former requires the perpetrator to have a particular purpose or objective in mind when committing the crime, while the latter only requires the intent to commit the act that led to the crime. When the prosecutor charges a specific intent crime the defendant must be able to understand what they have done.
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