Home » Law » National, State, Local

Criminal Negligence - Ignorance Is No Defense

Oct 16, 2007
Criminal negligence indicates the lowest level of responsibility or guilt, criminal intention being the highest. Gross negligence and criminal recklessness share the same intermediate level.

What pushes an act over the line from criminal to gross negligence is the fact that the offender COULD foresee the prohibited or criminal consequences of his actions.

Criminal recklessness, on the other hand, indicates the offender knew that he was exposing another person or entity to potential injury. Guilt is determined by the offender's agreeing to run that risk.

Some acts of this crime have more to do with crimes of omission. Guilt is determined by the offender's not foreseeing the results of his actions, allowing otherwise avoidable dangers or consequences to happen.

If the offender deliberately puts himself in a position where he won't be aware of the consequences of his actions, then criminal negligence can turn into willful blindness. Just like willful blindness, "not knowing" is NOT an acceptable defense and the defendant can still be held criminally liable for the results of his actions.

The punishments for this crime vary widely, but incarceration is very common. If the offender is legally declared insane, he may be removed to a state-run facility for treatment purposes.

Criminal Negligence - Common Cases

Criminal negligence also arises from acts that are careless or work that is slipshod. Two common cases of criminal negligence have to do with criminally negligent homicide and negligent child endangerment.

The most controversial cases have to do with slipshod or neglectful healthcare. To prove any 'fault' of any healthcare practitioner (e.g., doctor, nurse, medical technologist, etc.) the plaintiff needs to prove four things:

1. Duty of Care
2. Breach of Standard Healthcare
3. Loss or Injury
4. Causation (link between an offender's action and the resulting loss/injury)

Criminal Negligence - The Greenpeace Case

Another common application of the crime has to do with the culpability of corporations or organizations for the way they do business or implement policies. Oftentimes, violators are charged with criminal negligence even if the full consequences of their neglectful behavior never occur.

In May 2005, Greenpeace was found guilty of criminal negligence resulting from its anti-logging efforts in Alaska. The criminal action resulted from a Greenpeace ship crossing into Alaskan waters without the necessary paperwork.

Carrying over 70,000 gallons of petroleum products, the ship headed for an Alaskan National Forest for its anti-logging campaign. The state of Alaska has laws that require such vessels to file an oil-spill response/prevention plan at least five days before the vessel enters state waters.

Although Greenpeace didn't file the plan within the given period they quickly corrected the oversight. However, the ship's captain was still convicted on three counts of criminal negligence.

Criminal negligence in Alaska has maximum penalties of 12 months in prison and $10,000 for a person and a fine of $200,000 payable by the offending organization.

Needless to say, the penalties would've been much more severe if an oil spill did take place. But this case clearly shows that even a threat of danger due to 'low-level' negligence can be prosecuted in court.
About the Author
We all want to think we are safe but are we? If you want to know more about the different types of crimes committed today, RecordsSiteReviews.com is offering FREE ACCESS to its Criminal Records Information section. If you have a nagging suspicion on someone, run a criminal check on him or her today!
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 198
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources