Actus Reus

Actus Reus (pronounced “Ack-tus REE-us”) is one of the two elements of criminal liability under common law, along with mens rea. Where mens rea is the mental state needed in order to be culpable of a crime, actus reus is the “guilty act” itself. To get a better understanding of these concepts, see the actus reus …

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Mens Rea

Mens rea (pronounced “menz ray-ə”) is simply the framework within the law that determines a defendant’s culpability for a crime. Latin for “guilty mind,” mens rea specifically refers to what the accused was thinking at or shortly before a crime was allegedly committed. The mens rea required for conviction varies between crimes; in some cases …

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