Los Angeles Criminal Defense Firm

Actus Reus

Actus Reus is Latin for “guilty act.” It is usually referred to in combination with the term “Mens Rea,” which means “guilty mind.” In order for a person to be criminally liable for doing something, they need to have done it with criminal intent or recklessness. For example, if Frank takes a stranger's coat from a hook in a restaurant, thinking it is his, it is not theft. But if Frank takes a strangers coat (Actus Reus) with the intent to steal it (Mens Rea) it is theft.