GC: n

S: HLS – p. 473 (last access: 3 November 2016); Law.jrank – (last access: 3 November 2016).

N: 1. It dates back to the early 13th century and comes from the Old French entent, entente, meaning ‘goal’, ‘end’, ‘aim’, ‘purpose’, ‘attention’, ‘application’, and directly from Latin intentus, ‘a stretching out’, in Late Latin “intention, purpose,” noun use of past participle of intendere ‘stretch out’, ‘lean toward’, ‘strain’. In law, ‘state of mind with respect to intelligent volition’ (17th century).
2. In criminal law, it refers to a resolve to do or forbear a particular act, an ‘aim’ or a ‘purpose’. In its literal sense, ‘the stretching of the mind or will towards a particular object’. It shows the presence of will in the act which consummates a crime.
3. The intent to commit a crime is officially known as mens rea which is Latin for ‘guilty mind’. In the US, mens rea is generally divided into four sublevels, each reflecting a different level of responsibility for a crime.

  1. Intent: the explicit and conscious desire to commit a dangerous or illegal act.
  2. Knowledge: applying if a person is aware that his or her actions will have certain results, but does not seem to care.
  3. Recklessness: the decision to commit a certain action despite knowing about associated risks.
  4. Negligence: applying when someone fails to meet a reasonable standard of behavior for the circumstances.

4. We can also find the expression ‘criminal intent’. In that case, the adjective ‘criminal’ is used to specify that the intent is referred to the malice of a person committing a crime.
5. The terms used in the field of Penal Law are “malicious intent”, “animus injuriendi” and “animus nocendi”.
French equivalents: intention de nuire, intention coupable, intention malveillante, animus injuriendi, animus nocendi.
Spanish equivalents: malicia, dolo.
6. The term used in the field of Tort Law (common law) is “maliciously” (malicious. -An act done maliciously is one that is wrongful and performed willfully or intentionally, and without legal justification) .
French equivalent: avec malveillance.
Spanish equivalents: con alevosía, con dolo.
7. The terms used in the fields of Law of Obligations (civil law) and Law of Contracts (common law) are “fraud”, “principal fraud” (an intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right …).
French equivalents: dol, dol principal.
Spanish equivalents: dolo, dolo civil.
8. The terms used in the field of Offences and crimes are “guilty knowledge” and “under false pretenses/pretences”.
French equivalents: connaissance coupable et par fraude, par escroquerie.
Spanish equivalents: con dolo y con medios fraudulentos.
9. The term used in the fields of Tort Law (common law) and Law of Contracts (common law) is “deceit”.
French equivalent: dol.
Spanish equivalent: dolo.
10. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention the American TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011), created and produced by Dick Wolf and René Balcer. This spin-off of the crime drama Law & Order centers on crimes from the criminal’s point of view, from their intent.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 2 November 2016). 2. TLD – (last access: 2 November 2016). 3. BrunoLO – (last access: 3 November 2016). 4. BLD p. 260. 5 to 9. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 9 November 2016); FCB. 10. IMDb – (last access: 2 November 2016).


CR: crime