Motive and Intent. What is the difference?
These two terms, in relation to a criminal offense, can be used similarly, but there are a few distinct reasons that set them apart. By definition, a motive deals with a person's underlying reason for committing said crime. Intent is speaking directly about the persons willingness to carry out a specific action related to the offense.
Definition of Motive
When we're looking at the motive of someone, youre looking at a lot of factors that may have lead up to the actual crime. For example, if Sam and Cat got in a fist fight, and Sam punched Cat, you would want to first look at what lead to it, like did Cat steal from Sam, causing him to punch his friend? While the person can have a motive to commit a crime, it doesn't mean that they are guilty of said crime, and the prosecutor in the case does not have to prove that the person had a reason to engage in said behavior.
Definition of Intent
Intent is a persons conscious decision to commit an act that violates laws. Intent needs to be proven, for example, back to Sam and Cat...If Sam was just speaking to Cat and had animated hand movements which unintentionally hit Cat, his actions were not on purpose. He had no intent to actually hit Cat.
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