Difference between revisions of "Mistake of Law"

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Revision as of 15:53, 7 April 2010

Under this defense, the defense lawyer must prove first that the accused can be found guilty of the alleged crime only if he deliberately broke the law, and second, that the accused did not know the law at the time of the offense.

In the United States, the general rule is that the fact that the defendant did not know his actions were prohibited by law or mistakenly believed they were not prohibited by law is not a defense to a crime. This is true regardless of whether the defendant's mistake was reasonable.