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Can Ignorance Excuse You from an Alleged Crime? 

 Posted on October 20, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Austin Criminal LawyerWhen facing criminal charges, many wonder if claiming ignorance can absolve them of the alleged crime. The answer to this question is that, in general, ignorance cannot absolve someone of an alleged crime. Just because you did not think something was a crime or were not aware it was a crime will not unbind you from the responsibility of following the law. If you are facing criminal charges, the best thing to do is call a lawyer. Your lawyer will work with you to develop an appropriate defense against whatever charges you are facing. 

The Importance of Knowledge and Intent 

In Texas criminal law, it is crucial to prove both the accused's physical act and the guilty mind. Ignorance alone cannot absolve a person of criminal liability because it does not undo the necessary intent or knowledge required for most crimes. Understanding the distinction between intentional acts and accidental acts is important in this context. 

What About in Limited Circumstances?  

In very limited circumstances, ignorance can be used as an attempt to explain away a crime. For instance, the defense of mistake of fact may apply if the person genuinely and reasonably believed certain points that, if true, would undo the criminal intent required for the offense. However, the mistake must be reasonable and based on an honest belief rather than a willful disregard of the truth.

On the other hand, ignorance of the law is generally not an accepted defense. This important acknowledgment is to ensure people are held accountable for their actions and maintain the integrity of the legal system in our country. 

Contact an Austin, TX Criminal Defense Attorney

Ignorance of the law is usually not considered a valid defense, as people are expected to be aware of their legal obligations. It is important to consult with legal professionals to understand the specific laws and defenses applicable to a particular case, as the application of ignorance as a defense will likely result in a negative case outcome for the defendant. Contact the experienced Midland, TX criminal defense lawyers with Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC.. Call 512-474-2222 for a free consultation.

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