General Intent Law and Legal Definition

General intent is defined the state of mind required for the commission of certain common law crimes not requiring specific intent and it usually takes the form of recklessness or negligence. Specific intent requires that a criminal defendant intended to achieve some result additional to the criminal act in order to prove all the elements needed to be found guilty of the crime. It differs from general intent, which only requires proof that the defendant intended to do the prohibited act. For example, the crime of larceny requires not only the general intent to take property, but also the specific intent to permanently deprive another of the property.