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Touro Law Review

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I will discuss the wonderful interrelation between intent, purpose and motivation. I have always loved analyzing the difference between these three concepts in the criminal procedure area. These words are used interchangeably in three different areas of the law and the words mean something different depending upon what area you are talking about.

Let me briefly get the criminal part of it out of the way. We use intent in the criminal law because at that point the key consideration is whether one volitionally wanted to do that which one was accused of doing. Intent in the criminal area is used to compare it to some other concept which might bear on one's criminal liability. A lawyer will examine whether conduct was intended, whether it was negligent, or wether there was an accident. Intent is relevant in criminal law because an act may or may not be a crime depending upon the mental state with which it was done