Mens Rea Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Mens Rea.

Mens Rea (noun):

This is a term in criminal law that refers to the mental state or intention behind a person's criminal action. The term is Latin for 'guilty mind'. It considers whether a person performed an illegal act knowingly and with intent, or if it was an accident. The presence of mens rea can impact the severity of a sentence.