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Mistake of Fact

Mistake of Fact

    Someone accused of a crime can be found not guilty if they did not intend to commit the crime because they reasonably did not know a fact or reasonably and mistakenly believed a fact. If the accused's conduct would have been legal under the facts as they reasonably believed them to be, then they did not commit a crime.
    For example, in DUI-The defendant is not guilty of driving under the influence causing bodily injury and driving with blood alcohol .08% or more causing injury if defendant did not have the intent or mental state required to commit the crime because he/she reasonably did not know a fact or reasonably and mistakenly believed a fact. Defendant could have been intoxicated by trickery. Due to ignorance consumed prescription or over the counter drug shortly after/before drinking.
    In accusations of sexual assault, rape, defendant actually and reasonably believed in consensual act that the victim was 18 or more years old, when in fact the defendant was actually few months short of the legal age at the time of the offense.