by Seth Azria on 3/29/2016
“Knowingly” is a particular state of mind required for the commission of a crime. In the vocabulary of criminal law, lawyers call the state of mind needed to establish a crime as the “mens rea”, latin for “guilty mind.”
New York Penal Law states that a person acts “knowingly” with respect to conduct or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware that his conduct is of such nature or that such circumstance exists. While this definition seems to indicate the that a person’s actual awareness must proved to establish that the crime was knowingly committed: this is not necessarily the case.
For example, in the context of criminal possession of controlled substance, the mens rea of “knowingly” can generally be established by inference from possession of a controlled substance in a person’s hand, on his person, in his vehicle, or in his premises.
Criminal law is complex and we urge you contact a lawyer to discuss your specific charges. You may reach us anytime for a free consultation at (315) 364-1155.