46.3205 Ignorance and mistake.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 46.3205]

(a) A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in that conduct under a mistaken belief of fact or law unless that mistake negatives the existence of the mental state required by the offense.

(b) A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he believes his conduct does not constitute an offense unless his belief is reasonable, and:

(1) the offense is defined by an administrative rule or order which is not known to him and has not been published or otherwise made reasonably available to him, and he could not have acquired that knowledge by the exercise of due diligence pursuant to facts known to him; or

(2) he acts in reasonable reliance upon an official statement of the law, afterward determined to be invalid or erroneous, contained in:

(A) a statute;

(B) an opinion or order of court; or

(C) an official interpretation of the statute, rule, or order defining the offenses made by a public official or agency legally authorized to interpret that statute, rule, or order.

(c) The burden of injecting the issue of reasonable belief that conduct does not constitute an offense under paragraph (b) (1) and (2) is on the defendant.

History: 1979, PL 16-43 § 2.

Research Guide: MCC 562 031,15 ASC 4801.