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Defining Criminal Intent

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When discussing how criminal intent relates to the enforcement of environmental laws first you must know what criminal intent means. USLEGAL.COM defines criminal intent as “the intent to do something wrong or forbidden by law.” (Criminal Intent Law & Legal Definition) To help one understand the meaning of intent, it is when a person make the conscious decision to break the law. (What is CRIMINAL INTENT) With environmental laws and regulations, it states that one must knowingly commit an environmental crime in order to prosecute as a criminal. As discussed in the week three lecture notes we learned that under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, if a person is knowingly transporting hazardous waste without a warrant than that person could be prosecuted criminally and face up to two years in prison and up to a $50,000 a day fine.( Week Three Lecture Notes)
The main when it comes to prosecuting criminally the person must have criminal intent, which in environmental law they replace criminal intent with “knowing”. Each act has this written into it and it with its own fines and punishment. A prosecutor could also take the convection a step further by saying the person knowingly endangered. By knowingly endangering means that you knew that committing the act was illegal and by doing so you are endangering the human community, wildlife, and environment at the same time.
When a prosecutor decides whether to pursue a cade either civilly or criminally it takes a turn on which one they decide. The main factor to a case that involves a criminal prosecution is the amount of harm caused to the environment and the intent of the person who committed the crime. (Environmental Crime Prosecution: Results of a National Survey) With all cr...

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The Criminal Process in Environmental Regulation. (n.d.). UH Law. Retrieved April 6, 2014, from http://www.law.uh.edu/faculty/thester/courses/Environmental-Practicum-2014/syllabus/chap6.pdf
USDOJ: Environment and Natural Resources Division : Factors in Decisions on Criminal Prosecutions. (n.d.). USDOJ: Environment and Natural Resources Division : Factors in Decisions on Criminal Prosecutions. Retrieved April 6, 2014, from http://www.justice.gov/enrd/3058.htm
What is CRIMINAL INTENT?. (n.d.). The Law Dictionary. Retrieved April 6, 2014, from http://thelawdictionary.org/criminal-intent/
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