When Does a Deed Need Criminal Defense?

Updated on July 28, 2018

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When does a deed need criminal defense?

The offense is an act of an active subject – perpetrator – directed against a social value defended by the criminal law which, in most cases, belongs to a person – an act that is an outward manifestation of the individual, which he had representation at the time of committing or should have had. Stuart Criminal Defense attorney tells you several criteria that distinguish a deed from a criminal act. These are the provision in the criminal law, guilt, unjustified deeds and imputability.

It is noteworthy and remembered that the assembly of a single element does not automatically lead to the conclusion that such an act is an offense, but these traits must be cumulatively met to be an offense.

If a criminal law does not incriminate an act, then it cannot constitute an offense. Thus, by the criminal law rule, it is necessary to lay down the conditions for the existence of the crime, without this legal element being unable to continue the analysis of a criminal offense.

The act committed by a person must correspond to the abstract model described by the criminal law, this principle is called the typical. In other words, the offense implies the existence of a legal framework that attributes to the actual deed the character of the act provided by the criminal law.

By this aspect of the provision in the criminal law, the offense is distinguished from the other forms of legal illicit.

In fact, if the criminal law provides an act, it does not mean that it is a crime if the other features of the offense are not met, which we will set out below. The essential element of the provision in criminal law results from the principle of legality, as a fundamental principle in criminal law.


Another crucial condition for the existence of a crime is the guilty act. Thus, the offense is a manifestation of the will and consciousness of the perpetrator, being an expression of the mental attitude and personality. Guilt is the subjective element of the offense. Blame could be defined as the psychological attitude of the active subject who committed an uncontrollable act incriminated by criminal law and who at the time of committing the offense represented the action and its consequences or had the real opportunity to have this representation.

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Forms of guilt

Direct intensity occurs when the perpetrator has a representation of the consequence of the act he is about to commit and follows the dangerous result that will result from it; often, direct intent can be deduced from the analysis and observation of the circumstances in which the act was committed

Example: A person shoots another person in the chest, with the explicit purpose of killing him, resulting in the fact that he has directed his weapon to a vital area. See more here.

Indirect intention occurs when, although the perpetrator does not follow the dangerous outcome of his deed, he has the representation of its consequences and accepts the possibility of producing it, leaving that possibility to the risk, adopting an attitude somewhat indifferent to that possibility, in the sense that it does nothing to prevent the consequences of the act.

Example: Once an individual has beaten a person, but without the direct intention of killing him, but only to apply a correction, he leaves him helpless in the cold at night, conditions that aggravate his precarious health and the victim dies.

The guilt with the provision is incidental if the person while providing for the unfortunate result of his deeds, does not accept the possibility of his production. Based on specific unfounded criteria, he does not think of this possibility. The distinction between the guilty and the secondary intention is based on the fact that while the implied purpose of the active subject of indifference towards producing the result denotes the fact that he does nothing to prevent this result, the individual is based on specific objective or subjective conditions. These could lead to the occurrence of the incident but prove to be insufficient or mistakenly appreciated. 

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Example: An experienced driver drives at high speed on a pedestal traffic road, and although he thinks he could hit someone, he does not accept this idea based on his experience and skills. Of course, this hope of not producing the incident is groundless.

The simple guilt

In this case, the individual does not foresee the uncertain outcome of his deed, though, with minimal diligence, he should have or could have predicted this result. Only if it is demonstrated that the individual should have or could have foreseen the dangerous consequence of his deed, we can establish the guilt in the form of pure sin. Thus, if the predictability of the outcome is removed, it may be like a fortuitous case, then we should investigate if the perpetrator could foresee the result by an analysis of his / her personality.

Example: A smoker is entering with a cigarette in a place that might contain flammable elements and thus produces a fire.

Departed intent

It is a mixed form of guilt that combines both intention and fault, in the sense that it occurs after committing an act of plan that produces a worse result than that sought or accepted by the individual. The effect created by the culprit of the perpetrator, because he considered it unjustifiably that this result would not occur or because he did not foresee it, although it should have been. Most of the time, the initial act is committed with direct intent, even for a particular result, and the culprit in producing the worse effect that leads to the removal of the secondary intention.

Check this out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intention_(criminal_law)

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Example: Two friends play around a pool, and one of them thinks as a joke that it would be good to push his buddy into the pool, relying on the fact that he is an excellent swimmer and that nothing bad will happen, but his friend drowns.

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