Doli Capax Law and Legal Definition

Doli Capax is a Latin term that means, capable of committing a crime or tort. Doli capax refers to the mental capacity of a person that helps him/her from distinguishing right from wrong. It is also known as capax doli.

Generally, children above 10 years old are considered as doli capax and they are treated as adults where they can differentiate between right and wrong. However, they will be tried in special courts like juvenile courts for any crime committed by them.

The following is an example of a case law defining doli capax:

The term "doli capax" means capable of committing a crime or tort or a person old enough to determine right from wrong. As enunciated by the early English common law, in criminal cases, an infant of the age of 14 years may be capitally punished for any capital offence but under the age of 7 he cannot. The period between 7 and 14 is subject to much uncertainty. For the infant shall, generally speaking, be judged prima facie innocent; yet if s/he was doli capax, and could discern between good and evil at the time of the offence committed, s/he may be convicted and undergo judgment and execution of death, though s/he has not attained to years of puberty or discretion. [Commonwealth v. Ogden O., 448 Mass. 798, 803 (Mass. 2007)]