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Chapter 32 - Liability

Chapter 32 - Liability

46.3201 Voluntary act.


(a) A person is not guilty of an offense unless his liability is based on conduct which includes a voluntary act.

(b) A "voluntary act" is:

(1) a bodily movement performed while conscious as a result of effort or determination; or

(2) an omission to perform an act of which the actor is physically capable.

(c) Possession is a voluntary act if the possessor knowingly procures or receives the thing possessed, or having acquired control of it was aware of his control for a sufficient time to have enabled him to dispose of it or terminate his control.

(d) A person is not guilty of an offense based solely upon an omission to perform an act unless the law defining the offense provides expressly, or a duty to perform the omitted act is otherwise imposed by law.

46.3202 Culpable mental state-Definition.


(a) Except under 46.3204, a person is not guilty of an offense unless he acts with a culpable mental state, that is, unless he acts purposely or knowingly or recklessly or with criminal negligence, as the statute defining the offense may require with respect to the conduct, the result of it, or the attendant circumstances which constitute the material elements of the crime.

(b) A person "acts purposely", or with purpose, with respect to his conduct or to a result thereof when it is his conscious object to engage in that conduct or to cause that result.

(c) A person "acts knowingly", or with knowledge:

(1) with respect to his conduct or to attendant circumstances when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that those circumstances exist; or

(2) with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is practically certain to cause that result.

(d) A person "acts recklessly" or is reckless when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow, and that disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.

(e) A person "acts with criminal negligence" or is criminally negligent when he fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or a result will follow, and that failure constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.

46.3203 Culpable mental state-Application.


(a) If the definition of an offense prescribes a culpable mental state but does not specify the conduct, attendant circumstances or result to which it applies, the prescribed culpable mental state applies to each material element unless a contrary purpose plainly appears.

(b) Except under 46.3204, if the definition of an offense does not expressly prescribe a culpable mental state, a culpable mental state is nonetheless required and is established if a person acts purposely or knowingly or recklessly, but criminal negligence is not sufficient.

(c) If the definition of an offense prescribes criminal negligence as the culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts purposely or knowingly or recklessly. When recklessness suffices to establish a culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts purposely or knowingly. When acting knowingly suffices to establish a culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts purposely.

(d) Knowledge that conduct constitutes an offense, or knowledge of the existence, meaning, or application of the statute defining an offense is not an element of an offense unless the statute clearly provides it.

46.3204 Culpable mental state-When not required.


A culpable mental state is not required:

(1) if the offense is an infraction and no culpable mental state is prescribed by the law defining the offense; or

(2) if the statute defining the offense clearly indicates a purpose to dispense with the require-ment of any culpable mental state as to a specific element of the offense.

46.3205 Ignorance and mistake.


(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.

46.3206 Accountability for conduct.


A person with the required culpable mental state is guilty of an offense if it is committed by his own conduct or by the conduct of another person for which he is criminally responsible, or both.

46.3207 Responsibility for the conduct of another.


(a) A person is criminally responsible for the conduct of another when:

(1) the statute defining the offense makes him responsible; or

(2) either before or during the commission of an offense with the purpose of promoting the commission of an offense, he aids or agrees to aid or attempts to aid the other person in planning, committing or attempting to commit the offense.

(b) However, a person is not responsible if:

(1) he is the victim of the offense committed or attempted;

(2) the offense is so defined that his conduct was necessarily incident to the commission or attempt to commit the offense. If his conduct constitutes a related but separate offense, he is criminally responsible for that offense but not for the conduct or offense committed or attempted by the other person; or

(3) before the commission of the offense he abandons his purpose and gives timely warning to law enforcement authorities or otherwise makes proper effort to prevent the commission or the offense.

(c) The defense provided by paragraph (b) (3) is an affirmative defense.

46.3208 Defense precluded.


It is no defense to any prosecution for an offense in which the criminal responsibility of the defendant is based upon the conduct of another that:

(1) the other person has been acquitted or has not been convicted or has been convicted of some other offense or degree of offense or lacked criminal capacity or was unaware of the defendant's criminal purpose or is immune from prosecution or is not amenable to Justice; or

(2) the defendant does not belong to that class of persons who was legally capable of committing the offense in an individual capacity.

46.3209 Conviction of different degrees of offenses.


Except as otherwise provided, when 2 or more persons are criminally responsible for an offense which is divided into degrees, each person is guilty of that degree as is compatible with his own culpable mental state and with his own accountability for an aggravating or mitigating fact or circumstance.

46.3210 Liability of corporations and unincorporated associations.


(a) A corporation is guilty of an offense if:

(1) the conduct constituting the offense consists of an omission to discharge a specific duty of affirmative performance imposed on corporations by law;

(2) the conduct constituting the offense is engaged in by an agent of the corporation while acting within the scope of his employment and in behalf of the corporation, and the offense is a misdemeanor or an infraction, or the offense is one defined by a statute that clearly indicates a legislative intent to impose that criminal liability on a corporation; or

(3) the conduct constituting the offense is engaged in, authorized, solicited, requested, commanded or knowingly tolerated by the board of directors or by a high managerial agent acting within the scope of his employment and in behalf of the corporation.

(b) An unincorporated association is guilty of an offense if:

(1) the conduct constituting the offense consists of an omission to discharge a specific duty of affirmative performance imposed on the association by law; or

(2) the conduct constituting the offense is engaged in by an agent of the association while acting within the scope of his employment and in behalf of the association and the offense is one defined by a statute that clearly indicates a legislative intent to impose that criminal liability on the association.

(c) As used in this section:

(1) "Agent" means any director, officer, or employee of a corporation or unincorporated association or any other person who is authorized to act in behalf of the corporation or unincorporated association.

(2) "High managerial agent" means an officer of a corporation or any other agent in a position of comparable authority with respect to the formulation of corporate policy or the supervision in a managerial capacity of subordinate employees.

46.3211 Liability of individual for conduct on behalf of corporation or unincorporated association.


A person is criminally liable for conduct constituting an offense which he performs or causes to be performed in the name of or in behalf of a corporation or unincorporated association to the same extent as if the conduct were performed in his own name or behalf.

46.3212 Entrapment.


(a) The commission of acts which would otherwise constitute an offense is not criminal if the actor engaged in the prescribed conduct because he was entrapped by a law enforcement officer or a person acting in cooperation with such an officer.

(b) An "entrapment" is perpetrated if a law enforcement officer or a person acting in cooperation with an officer, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of an offense, solicits, encourages, or otherwise induces another person to engage in conduct when he was not ready and willing to engage in that conduct.

(c) The relief afforded by subsection (a) is not available as to any crime which involves causing physical injury to or placing in danger of physical injury a person other than the person perpetrating the entrapment.

(d) The defendant has the burden of injecting the issue of entrapment.

46.3213 Duress.


(a) It is an affirmative defense that the defendant engaged in the conduct charged to constitute an offense because he was coerced to do so, by the use of or threatened imminent use of, unlawful physical force upon him or a 3d person, which force or threatened force a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist.

(b) The defense of "duress" as defined in subsection (a) is not available

(1) as to the crime of murder; or

(2) as to any offense when the defendant recklessly places himself in a situation in which it is probable that he will be subjected to the force of threatened force described in subsection (a).

46.3214 Intoxicated or drugged condition.


(a) A person who is in an intoxicated or drugged condition whether from alcohol, drugs, or other substance, is criminally responsible for conduct unless that condition:

(1) negatives the existence of the mental states of purpose or knowledge when those mental states are elements of the offense charged or of an included offense; or

(2) is involuntarily produced and substantially deprives him of the capacity to know or appreciate the nature, quality, or wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.

(b) The defendant has the burden of injecting the issue of intoxicated or drugged condition.

46.3215 Nonliability of infants.


(a) Children under 10 years of age are conclusively presumed to be incapable of committing any crime.

(b) Children between 10 and 14 years of age are conclusively presumed to be incapable of committing any crime, except for felonies, in which case the presumption is rebuttable.

(c) The provisions of this section do not prevent proceedings against, or the disciplining of any person under 18 years of age as a delinquent child, a child in need of supervision, a neglected or dependent child, or under the certification provisions of 45.0340 through 45.0344.

(d) "Age" means age at the time of the alleged offense.

(e) The defendant has the burden of injecting the issue of infancy.

46.3216 Lack of responsibility because of mental disease or defect.


(a) A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of the conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he did not know or appreciate the nature, quality, or wrongfulness of his conduct or was incapable of conforming his conduct to the requirements of law.

(b) The procedures for the defense of lack of responsibility because of mental disease or defect are governed by 46.1301 through 46.1310.