MODEL PENAL CODE
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(9) Culpability as to Illegality of Conduct. Neither knowledge nor recklessness or negligence as to whether conduct constitutes an offense or as to the existence, meaning or application of the law determining the elements of an offense is an element of such offense, unless the definition of the offense or the Code so provides.
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Section 3.02. Justification Generally: Choice of Evils.
(1) Conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid a harm or evil to himself or to another is justifiable, provided that:
(a) the harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is greater than that sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense charged; and
(b) neither the Code nor other law defining the offense provides exceptions or defenses dealing with the specific situation involved; and
(c) a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed does not otherwise plainly appear.
(2) When the actor was reckless or negligent in bringing about the situation requiring a choice of harms or evils or in appraising the necessity for his conduct, the justification afforded by this Section is unavailable in a prosecution for any offense for which recklessness or negligence, as the case may be, suffices to establish culpability.
Section 3.08. Use of Force by Persons with Special Responsibility for Care, Discipline or Safety of Others.
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(5) the actor is a warden or other authorized official of a correctional institution, and:
(a) he believes that the force used is necessary for the purpose of enforcing the lawful rules or procedures of the institution, unless his belief in the lawfulness of the rule or procedure sought to be enforced is erroneous and his error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the provisions of the Code, any other provision of the criminal law or the law governing the administration of the institution; and
(b) the nature or degree of force used is not forbidden by Article 303 or 304 of the Code; and
(c) if deadly force is used, its use is otherwise justifiable under this Article; or
(6) the actor is a person responsible for the safety of a vessel or an aircraft or a person acting at his direction, and
(a) he believes that the force used is necessary to prevent interference with the operation of the vessel or aircraft or obstruction of the execution of a lawful order, unless his belief in the lawfulness of the order is erroneous and his error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the law defining his authority; and
(b) if deadly force is used, its use is otherwise justifiable under this Article; or
(7) the actor is a person who is authorized or required by law to maintain order or decorum in a vehicle, train or other carrier or in a place where others are assembled, and:
(a) he believes that the force used is necessary for such purpose; and
(b) the force used is not designed to cause
or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, bodily harm, or
extreme mental distress.
Section 3.09. Mistake of Law as to Unlawfulness of Force or Legality of Arrest; Reckless or Negligent Use of Otherwise Justifiable Force; Reckless or Negligent Injury or Risk of Injury to Innocent Persons.
(1) The justification afforded by Sections 3.04 to 3.07, inclusive, is unavailable when:
(a) the actor's belief in the unlawfulness of the force or conduct against which he employs protective force or his belief in the lawfulness of an arrest which he endeavors to effect by force is erroneous; and
(b) his error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the provisions of the Code, any other provision of the criminal law or the law governing the legality of an arrest or search.
(2) When the actor believes that the use of force upon or toward the person of another is necessary for any of the purposes for which such belief would establish a justification under Sections 3.03 to 3.08 but the actor is reckless or negligent in having such belief or in acquiring or failing to acquire any knowledge or belief which is material to the justifiability of his use of force, the justification afforded by those Sections is unavailable in a prosecution for an offense for which recklessness or negligence, as the case may be, suffices to establish culpability.
(3) When the actor is justified under Sections 3.03
to 3.08 in using force upon or toward the person of another but he
recklessly or negligently injures
or creates a risk of injury to innocent persons, the justification afforded
by those Sections is unavailable in a prosecution for such recklessness
or negligence towards innocent persons.
Section 211.2. Recklessly Endangering Another Person.
A person commits a misdemeanor
if he recklessly engages in conduct
which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious
bodily injury. Recklessness and danger shall be presumed
where a person knowingly points a firearm at or in the direction of another,
whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded.
Section 212.4. Interference with Custody.
(1) Custody of Children. A person commits an offense if he knowingly or recklessly takes or entices any child under the age of 18 from the custody of its parent, guardian or other lawful custodian, when he has no privilege to do so. It is an affirmative defense that:
(a) the actor believed that his action was necessary to preserve the child from danger to its welfare; or
(b) the child, being at the time not less than 14 years old, was taken away at its own instigation without enticement and without purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the child.
Proof that the child was below the critical age gives rise to a presumption that the actor knew the child's age or acted in reckless disregard thereof. The offense is a misdemeanor unless the actor, not being a parent or person in equivalent relation to the child, acted with knowledge that his conduct would cause serious alarm for the child's safety, or in reckless disregard of a likelihood of causing such alarm, in which case the offense is a felony of the third degree.
(2) Custody of Committed Persons. A person is guilty
of a misdemeanor if he knowingly
or recklessly takes or entices any committed person away from lawful
custody when he is not privileged to do so. "Committed person" means,
in addition to anyone committed under judicial warrant, any orphan, neglected
or delinquent child, mentally defective or insane person, or other dependent
or incompetent person entrusted to another's custody by or through a recognized
social agency or otherwise by authority of law.
Section 212.5. Criminal Coercion.
(1) Offense Defined. A person is guilty of criminal coercion if, with purpose unlawfully to restrict another's freedom of action to his detriment, he threatens to:
(a) commit any criminal offense; or
(b) accuse anyone of a criminal offense; or
(c) expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute; or
(d) take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action.
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs (b), (c) or (d) that the actor believed the accusation or secret to be true or the proposed official action justified and that his purpose was limited to compelling the other to behave in a way reasonably related to the circumstances which were the subject of the accusation, exposure or proposed official action, as by desisting from further misbehavior, making good a wrong done, refraining from taking any action or responsibility for which the actor believes the other disqualified.
(2) Grading. Criminal coercion is a misdemeanor
unless the threat is to commit a felony or the actor's purpose is felonious,
in which cases the offense is a felony
of the third degree.
Section 213.6. Provisions Generally Applicable to Article 213.
(1) Mistake as to Age. Whenever in this Article the criminality of conduct depends on a child's being below the age of 10, it is no defense that the actor did not know the child's age, or reasonably believed the child to be older than 10. When criminality depends on the child's being below a critical age other than 10, it is a defense for the actor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he reasonably believed the child to be above the critical age.
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Section 221.2. Criminal Trespass.
(1) Buildings and Occupied Structures. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof. An offense under this Subsection is a misdemeanor if it is committed in a dwelling at night. Otherwise it is a petty misdemeanor.
(2) Defiant Trespasser. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(a) actual communication to the actor; or
(b) posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
(c) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
An offense under this Subsection constitutes a petty misdemeanor if the offender defies an order to leave personally communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other authorized person. Otherwise it is a violation.
(3) Defenses. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this Section that:
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(c) the actor reasonably
believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered
to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.
Section 223.1. Consolidation of Theft Offenses; Grading; Provisions Applicable to Theft Generally.
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(3) Claim of Right. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for theft that the actor:
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(c) took property exposed for sale, intending to purchase and pay for it promptly, or reasonably believing that the owner, if present, would have consented.
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Section 223.9. Unauthorized Use of Automobiles and Other Vehicles.
A person commits a misdemeanor
if he operates another's automobile, airplane, motorcycle, motorboat, or
other motor-propelled vehicle without consent of the owner. It is
an affirmative defense to
prosecution under this Section that the actor reasonably
believed that the owner would have consented to the operation had he
known of it.
Section 230.1. Bigamy and Polygamy.
(1) Bigamy. A married person is guilty of bigamy, a misdemeanor, if he contracts or purports to contract another marriage, unless at the time of the subsequent marriage:
(a) the actor believes that the prior spouse is dead; or
(b) the actor and the prior spouse have been living apart for five consecutive years throughout which the prior spouse was not known by the actor to be alive; or
(c) a Court has entered a judgment purporting to terminate or annul any prior disqualifying marriage, and the actor does not know that judgment to be invalid; or
(d) the actor reasonably believes that he is legally eligible to remarry.
Section 230.3. Abortion.
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(2) Justifiable Abortion. A licensed physician is
justified in terminating
a pregnancy if he believes there is substantial risk that continuance of
the pregnancy would gravely impair the physical or mental health of the
mother or that the child would be born with grave physical or mental defect,
or that the pregnancy resulted from rape, incest, or other felonious intercourse.
All illicit intercourse with a girl below the age of 16 shall be deemed
felonious for purposes of this subsection. Justifiable abortions
shall be performed only in a licensed hospital except in case of emergency
when hospital facilities are unavailable. [Additional exceptions
from the requirement of hospitalization may be incorporated here to take
account of situations in sparsely settled areas where hospitals are not
Section 241.1. Perjury.
(1) Offense Defined. A person is guilty of perjury, a felony of the third degree, if in any official proceeding he makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of a statement previously made, when the statement is material and he does not believe it to be true.
(2) Materiality. Falsification is material, regardless of the admissibility of the statement under rules of evidence, if it could have affected the course or outcome of the proceeding. It is no defense that the declarant mistakenly believed the falsification to be immaterial. Whether a falsification is material in a given factual situation is a question of law.
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Section 242.5. Compounding.
A person commits a misdemeanor
if he accepts or agrees to accept any pecuniary
benefit in consideration of refraining from reporting to law enforcement
authorities the commission or suspected commission of any offense or information
relating to an offense. It is an affirmative
defense to prosecution under this Section that the pecuniary
benefit did not exceed an amount which the actor believed to be due
as restitution or indemnification for harm caused by the offense.