If you committed a crime and you didn’t intentionally mean to engage in the act, you could potentially have your charges reduced based on the circumstances surrounding the violation of the law.
If you have been arrested and charged with committing a crime no matter how serious or minor it may be, the courts overseeing your case are going to attempt to identify the form of culpability, or how they want to hold you responsible for engaging in the illegal act. The truth is, there are several different reasons why individuals commit crimes, some for intentional purposes and others on accident. There are a plethora of crimes and levels of them and regardless of what your charge may be, you want to have a fair hearing that truly identifies why you committed the offense that you did.
The way you are held accountable for the offense can also determine how you are charged, whether you receive the maximum or minim penalty, or if you are even convicted at all. To learn more about your charge and how you feel the courts shall determine culpability, speak with one of the Washington criminal defense attorneys found right here on our site. Not only do they handle cases involving criminal charges on a daily basis, but they are going to have your best interest in mind and work to help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Kinds of Culpability in Washington
The Washington State Legislature recognizes four types of culpability and they are described below for you.
- Intent- When a person acts with intent, they have an objective or purpose they want to accomplish which constitutes as a crime.
- Knowledge- A person knows or acts knowingly or with knowledge when:
(i) he or she is aware of a fact, facts, or circumstances or result described by a statute defining an offense; or
(ii) he or she has information which would lead a reasonable person in the same situation to believe that facts exist which facts are described by a statute defining an offense.
- Recklessness- When a person conducts themselves in a reckless manner and are aware that their behavior brings along with it risk that a wrongful act may occur, they can be accused of acting recklessly. Generally, a person who is labeled as being reckless disregards the risk that their behavior carries with it which is a gross deviation from conduct that an average person would exercise under similar circumstances.
- Criminal Negligence- An individual would be considered criminally negligent or displays acts of criminal negligence when they fail to acknowledge the substantial risk that a “wrongful act may occur and his or her failure to be aware of such substantial risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.”
To read more about criminal negligence, you can visit the Washington Legislature site by clicking here.
Get the Information You Require to Better Understand the Many Aspects of Your Criminal Charge
One of the most effective ways of learning more about your crime, the penalties you face, and how you may be held accountable, is to get your free, no-obligation consultation scheduled with one of our skilled defense attorneys in Washington. Give us a call now and an agent will begin aiding you in finding the best criminal defense lawyer available to help you.