Criminal Law: Doctrine of Transferred Intent

August 3, 2023

The Doctrine of Transferred Intent applies when a person intends to harm one individual but unintentionally harms a different person. As long as the defendant intended to harm a living human being, that intention can be transferred to fulfil the mens rea requirement for the actual harm caused, regardless of whether the initial harm was general or targeted at a specific individual. If the doctrine requirements are met, the law creates a fiction to transfer the defendant’s original intention to the eventual victim.

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