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2015 Senate Bill 20: Require that criminal offenders know act was unlawful for conviction
Introduced by Sen. Mike Shirkey R-Clarklake on January 20, 2015
To establish that in any new law creating a criminal offense enacted after Jan. 1, 2016, if the law does not indicate whether a “culpable mental state” (“mens rea”) is required to establish guilt, the presumption will be that this is required, meaning that prosecutors must show that the defendant violated the law “purposely, knowingly or recklessly.” If a new criminal law does require a culpable mental state, the bill would require this be shown for “each material element of the offense.” Under current law, many complex “administrative” offenses authorize criminal penalties for actions that a regular person would not know are illegal.   Official Text and Analysis.
Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 20, 2015

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