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The Model Penal Code Mental States: Negligently

The Model Penal Code, or MPC, was written during the 1950s to create a basic outline of where the legal world stood in the United States on criminal laws. While making things easier for law students everywhere by clarifying a variety of things, the greatest benefit to the legal world from the Model Penal Code is its standardization of what each mental state means.

Rather than relying on “mens rea” or “intent” to commit something, the Model Penal Code clarifies that each crime must have a specific mental state that has been thoroughly outlined in the code. There is no more guesswork as to what is the required mental state for a crime that has been outlined by the MPC.

Negligently is the least strict mental state defined by the model penal code. This means that it requires the least amount of action or thought on the part of the defendant in order to be met. When a crime requires that a defendant act ‘negligently’in regard to a material element of a crime, it means that the defendant must have acted in a way that is grossly different than the actions that would have been taken by a reasonable person in the same situation.

Negligently and recklessly are very similar. The biggest difference is to whom the actions taken by the defendant are being compared. In recklessly, the defendant’s actions are compared to a law-abiding citizen. In negligently, on the other hand, the defendant’s actions are compared to a reasonable person.

Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of a crime, contact the Appleton criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. at 1-888-565-7597 to discuss the crime that you were accused of and to create the best plan for a successful defense.