Culpability

Definition - What does Culpability mean?

In U.S. law, culpability is the term used to describe a defendant's blame, guilt, fault or responsibility in a criminal or civil case.

While it is an element that must be proven in order to secure certain convictions or judgments, the laws used to determine the level of culpability may differ from state to state.

Justipedia explains Culpability

There are several classifications of culpability that may be applicable in criminal and civil cases depending on the type of crime or incident and associated state laws. For example, under the New York State Penal Code, someone is responsible, is at fault or can be blamed for their actions if they:

  • act intentionally, as defined by law
  • act knowingly, as defined by law
  • act recklessly, as defined by law
  • act with criminal negligence, as defined by law
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