CALCRIM No. 254. Union of Act and Intent: Strict-Liability Crime

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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254.Union of Act and Intent: Strict-Liability Crime
For you to find a person guilty of the crime[s] of <insert
name[s] of alleged offense[s]> [or to find the allegation[s] of
<insert name[s] of enhancement[s]> true], a person only needs to do the
prohibited act [or to fail to do the required act]. The People do not need
to prove any intent or other mental state.
New January 2006; Revised June 2007
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
This instruction is provided for the court to use when instructing on a strict-liability
offense. The committee does not believe that the instruction is required. However,
the instruction may be useful when the case also involves general-intent, specific-
intent, or criminal negligence offenses. Do not give this instruction unless the court
is completely certain that the offense is a strict-liability offense. For a discussion of
the rarity of strict-liability offenses in modern criminal law, see People v. Garcia
(2001) 25 Cal.4th 744, 754 [107 Cal.Rptr.2d 355, 23 P.3d 590], and People v. Simon
(1995) 9 Cal.4th 493, 519-522 [37 Cal.Rptr.2d 278, 886 P.2d 1271].
The court must specify for the jury which offenses are strict-liability offenses by
inserting the names of the offenses where indicated in the instruction. (See People v.
Hill (1967) 67 Cal.2d 105, 118 [60 Cal.Rptr. 234, 429 P.2d 586].)
AUTHORITY
• Strict-Liability Offenses Discussed. People v. Garcia (2001) 25 Cal.4th 744,
754 [107 Cal.Rptr.2d 355, 23 P.3d 590]; People v. Simon (1995) 9 Cal.4th 493,
519-522 [37 Cal.Rptr.2d 278, 886 P.2d 1271].
SECONDARY SOURCES
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Elements, §§ 18-20.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 140,
Challenges to Crimes, § 140.02[5] (Matthew Bender).
255-299. Reserved for Future Use
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