3 votes

If someone commits A Crime, But They Did Not Know It Was A Crime , Are They Still Guilty Of That Crime?

So, let say someone commits a crime, lets say it was a Felony, 3rd degree. But they were ignorant of the law, or that they even were breaking the law. They planned to do this crime w/others.... as well.

Are they all guilty of committing this crime? (and Conspiracy to commit a Felony, which is a separate crime in itself) And if evidence showed that they did commit this crime, and are indeed guilty of it, then can they be prosecuted ?

Even if they "claim ignorance" or claim that they "had no intention of breaking the law" or "did not know they were breaking the law" ; could they still be charged and sentenced under that law that they broke?

(This is a state law that I am speaking of.) But could also be applied to a Federal law as well.


If they "had permission" to do what they did , as say in a private club, or organization, but later it was determined that what they did was illegal. Are just they (the actual participants) guilty or is the entire organization guilty? (ie club, company, LLC,etc)

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A matter of

Criminal intent and burden of proof...

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

wolfe's picture


I just noticed who wrote this.

It is guaranteed that whatever scheme you are concocting to scam someone out of money is the definition of force (fraud), as I have seen your scams around here before.

And it is no shocker that you are trying to concoct a bogus defense (the fact that you would ask the question about a specific act, proves you would be lying to claim ignorance).

So, whatever law you are trying to violate, I am quite confident is legitimate.

It's a wonder you are still around here. Traffic has to have died down enough by now to make your scams unprofitable.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Very good question!

You are correct that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but it all depends on jurisdiction.

Statutes is Law to those whom are contracted into that jurisdiction.

When youre dealing with 'government' remember that they always pull you into their jurisdiction because most of us contract with them, and in this case there is no excuse to not know the 'law'.

However, when one is of a foreign situs ignorance of the Law is the ONLY excuse you can use! So, in effect, a part of the reason that state law seems like a contradiction is because jurisdiction is not clearly defined between a living Man, and a foreign private corporate 'government' attempting to enforce its contracts upon the parties to them.

I reserve the right to govern myself.

Law? or statute? Law is

Law? or statute? Law is whatever infringes on someone's life, liberty, or property. Statute is everything else.

Blessings )o(

In today's administrative

In today's administrative courts yes they can be convicted unless they know how to assert their constitutional rights.

Your friends or whoever need to learn to defend their rights:





End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

wolfe's picture

They will prosecute...

And convict you. Don't let anyone tell you differently, otherwise you will have to smuggle a smart phone in to your cell in your ass to continue reading/writing here.

Having said that, the only laws that are valid are the ones prohibiting force to be initiated against a victim, so if that is not the case and you think you can get away with whatever it is... Have fun, and good luck... :)

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

My understanding is...

That the state must show criminal intent! That amounts to "burden of proof"!

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!


"Ignorance of the(my) law is not an excuse!" they will tell you.. I mean seriously, what do you expect from a small group of violent thugs enforcing their arbitrary rules through violence and theft?

Let me help here

"The people or sovereign are not bound by general word in statutes, restrictive of prerogative right, title or interest, unless expressly named. Acts of limitation do not bind the King or the people. The people have been ceded all the rights of the King, the former sovereign,... It is a maxim of the common law, that when an act is made for the common good and to prevent injury, the King shall be bound, though not named, but when a statute is general and prerogative right would be divested or taken from the King he shall not be bound."
People v Herkimer, 4 Cowen (NY) 345, 348, (1825)

"The people of this State, as successors of its former sovereign, are entitled to all the rights which formerly belonged to the King by his prerogative."
Lansing v Smith, 21 D. 89., 4 Wendel 9 (1829)(New York)

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury,..."
Fifth amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America

The mechanism used to get around the sovereignty of the people is called an indictment from a grand jury. If there is no indictment, the state has no jurisdiction.

File a motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction. Cite these cases and the Fifth amendment as points and authorities.

You could also throw in Article 6 section 3 of the Constitution as a point and authority to put the Judge in a bind.

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution."
Article 6 section 3, Constitution for the United States of America

If the judge does not dismiss the case with prejudice, then they are liable to lose their bench for perjury to their oath, it is called judicial misconduct.

If there is an indictment then that complicates things.

Confussion everywhere

Let me explain what is going on and why things are the way they are. This country was founded on the ideas of liberty. That means that no person or group of persons could command any other person or group of persons how to lead their lives. It is very clear what a statute is, and that is a rule or law that has been written down. Sir William Blackstone stated this in his Commentaries on the Laws of England published in 1754.

Statutes created by a legislature and applied to persons not of that legislature is the opposite of liberty. That is why sovereignty has been vested in the people of the United States and not in the United States itself. Sovereignty is the authority to decree law. Even though the people are vested with sovereignty they are not immune from public opinion. That is why there is a grand jury and the indictment process.

In 1215, all the barons of England gathered their armies and marched against their King, John II. John was not very likable and he did not follow through with many of his agreements with his lords. In fact he often would do the opposite of what he agreed to do. When all the barons had enough, they cornered their King and forced him to sign the Magna Carta. In the Magna Carta was invented the idea of a Grand Jury composed of 25 barons who if the King stepped out of line could be checked. These 25 barons represented the opinion of the public and had the authority to take what ever measures necessary to remedy the problem. The Grand Jury is how the sovereignty of the King could be overruled.

Therefor any action taken by a state without a grand jury indictment is subverting your sovereignty and is an act of tyranny. But if you are indicted by a grand jury well then you must answer to the norms of public opinion.

It works in reverse.

Ignorance of the law is why everyone pays federal income tax.


that's why the monster flourishes...

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

find a lawyer....

if you think you are will be in trouble.

Ignorance is no excuse of the law. Unfortunately, there are way to many laws.

Good Luck!

Cyril's picture

The English, The Latin (with translation), and The Ugly

The English

Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.

The Latin

"Dura lex, sed lex." (The law is harsh, but it is the law.)

The Ugly

The Law Perverted !


Assemble pieces.

Look at assembly.

Conclude for yourself.

And bear.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius


if I may shine light on my Ⓐnarchic-Capitalist colors regarding this scenario. What makes people commit crime is the following. Lack of money, lack of food, psychological problems, extremist views (RELIGION), hate, lack of care for others, etc.

Public law is tough for every individual to understand, not many people have time to actively seek the meaning of new laws which is why I support Private law between individuals.


His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

Yes, No. Maybe. ... And I am certain about it.

Many laws explicitly state that intent is a necessary component in the commission.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

"Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

The “ignorance is no excuse” maxim is fundamental to our current legal system. It's the basic axiom underlying all government rules and regulations. Without the “ignorance is no excuse” maxim, every time government passed a new law they’d also have to provide means by which all of the people were educated to know and understand each new law before they could be subjected to it. If knowledge of the law was not presumed, the education requirements would make the passage of new laws virtually impossible.

In fact, if the “ignorance is no excuse” maxim were ever rejected, 90% or more of what currently passes for government would probably disappear.

Wouldn't that be cool?

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

Ignorance of the law is NO excuse

Such a settled fact was argued by a man who sued a government for a reward offered for information leading to the arrest (and maybe conviction) of someone on the government's most wanted list. When the plaintiff, not knowing about the reward, provided the accurate information and the suspect was apprehended and convicted, the government refused to pay the money. The government lawyer offered the defense that the plaintiff was not aware that such an award had been enacted into local statute, so the plaintiff could not expect to be rewarded.

The plaintiff's attorney successfully argued that his client's ignorance of the law was not a legal excuse to deny him the reward. The court held for the plaintiff.

That REALLY proves my point

Even in the (fleetingly rare) case where a person's ignorance of the law would benefit the government, the principle Of "ignorance is no excuse" is overriding.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

None know the law completely. Few see the beauty of ignorance.

Ignorance of the law is a blessing.

    I am thankful that the good God creates us all ignorant. I am glad that when we change His plans in this regard, we have to do it at our own risk. It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art, and ignorant also of surgery. Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes, and surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues inflamed by disease. The very point in a picture that fascinates me with its beauty, is to the cultured artist a monstrous crime against the laws of coloring; and the very flush that charms me in a lovely face, is, to the critical surgeon, nothing but a sign hung out to advertise a decaying lung. Accursed be all such knowledge. I want none of it.
    - "Academy of Design," letter to San Francisco Alta California, July 28, 1867

Let me introduce you to someone.

    "His ignorance covered the whole earth like a blanket, and there was hardly a hole in it anywhere."
    - Mark Twain in Eruption

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Ignorance IS an Excuse

Research "Actus reus" and "Mens Rea"

“...taxes are not raised to carry on wars, but that wars are raised to carry on taxes”
Thomas Paine, Rights of Man