Chapter 562 General Principles of Liability

562.016 - Culpable mental state.

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1.Except as provided in section 562.026, a person is not guilty of an offense unless he or she acts with a culpable mental state, that is, unless he or she acts purposely or knowingly or recklessly or with criminal negligence, as the statute defining the offense may require with respect to the conduct, the result thereof or the attendant circumstances which constitute the material elements of the crime.

2.A person "acts purposely", or with purpose, with respect to his or her conduct or to a result thereof when it is his or her conscious object to engage in that conduct or to cause that result.

3.A person "acts knowingly", or with knowledge:

(1)With respect to his or her conduct or to attendant circumstances when he or she is aware of the nature of his or her conduct or that those circumstances exist; or

(2)With respect to a result of his or her conduct when he or she is aware that his or her conduct is practically certain to cause that result.

4.A person "acts recklessly" or is reckless when he or she consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow, and such disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.

5.A person "acts with criminal negligence" or is criminally negligent when he or she fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or a result will follow, and such failure constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.012 - Attempt — guilt for an offense may be based on.

1.Guilt for an offense may be based upon an attempt to commit an offense if, with the purpose of committing the offense, a person performs any act which is a substantial step towards the commission of the offense.A "substantial step" is conduct which is strongly corroborative of the firmness of the actor's purpose to complete the commission of the offense.

2.It is no defense to a prosecution that the offense attempted was, under the actual attendant circumstances, factually or legally impossible of commission, if such offense could have been committed had the attendant circumstances been as the actor believed them to be.

3.Unless otherwise set forth in the statute creating the offense, when guilt for a felony or misdemeanor is based upon an attempt to commit that offense, the felony or misdemeanor shall be classified one step lower than the class provided for the felony or misdemeanor in the statute creating the offense.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Transferred 2014; formerly 564.011; Effective 1-01-17

562.026 - Culpable mental state, when not required.

A culpable mental state is not required:

(1)If the offense is an infraction and no culpable mental state is prescribed by the statute defining the offense; or

(2)If the offense is a felony or misdemeanor and no culpable mental state is prescribed by the statute defining the offense, and imputation of a culpable mental state to the offense is clearly inconsistent with the purpose of the statute defining the offense or may lead to an absurd or unjust result.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1997 S.B. 89)

562.036 - Accountability for conduct.

A person with the required culpable mental state is guilty of an offense if it is committed by his or her own conduct or by the conduct of another person for which he or she is criminally responsible, or both.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.066 - Entrapment.

1.The commission of acts which would otherwise constitute an offense is not criminal if the actor engaged in the prescribed conduct because he or she was entrapped by a law enforcement officer or a person acting in cooperation with such an officer.

2.An "entrapment" is perpetuated if a law enforcement officer or a person acting in cooperation with such an officer, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of an offense, solicits, encourages or otherwise induces another person to engage in conduct when he or she was not ready and willing to engage in such conduct.

3.The relief afforded by subsection 1 of this section is not available as to any crime which involves causing physical injury to or placing in danger of physical injury a person other than the person perpetrating the entrapment.

4.The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of entrapment.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.076 - Intoxicated or drugged condition.

1.A person who is in an intoxicated or drugged condition, whether from alcohol, drugs or other substance, is criminally responsible for conduct unless such condition is involuntarily produced and deprived him or her of the capacity to know or appreciate the nature, quality or wrongfulness of his or her conduct.

2.The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of intoxicated or drugged condition.

3.Evidence that a person was in a voluntarily intoxicated or drugged condition may be admissible when otherwise relevant on issues of conduct but in no event shall it be admissible for the purpose of negating a mental state which is an element of the offense.In a trial by jury, the jury shall be so instructed when evidence that a person was in a voluntarily intoxicated or drugged condition has been received into evidence.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1983 S.B. 276, A.L. 1984 S.B. 448 § A--effective 10-1-84, A.L. 1993 S.B. 167, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.056 - Liability of corporations and unincorporated associations.

1.A corporation is guilty of an offense if:

(1)The conduct constituting the offense consists of an omission to discharge a specific duty of affirmative performance imposed on corporations by law; or

(2)The conduct constituting the offense is engaged in by an agent of the corporation while acting within the scope of his or her employment and in behalf of the corporation, and the offense is a misdemeanor or an infraction, or the offense is one defined by a statute that clearly indicates a legislative intent to impose such criminal liability on a corporation; or

(3)The conduct constituting the offense is engaged in, authorized, solicited, requested, commanded or knowingly tolerated by the board of directors or by a high managerial agent acting within the scope of his or her employment and in behalf of the corporation.

2.An unincorporated association is guilty of an offense if:

(1)The conduct constituting the offense consists of an omission to discharge a specific duty of affirmative performance imposed on the association by law; or

(2)The conduct constituting the offense is engaged in by an agent of the association while acting within the scope of his or her employment and in behalf of the association and the offense is one defined by a statute that clearly indicates a legislative intent to impose such criminal liability on the association.

3.As used in this section:

(1)"Agent" means any director, officer or employee of a corporation or unincorporated association or any other person who is authorized to act in behalf of the corporation or unincorporated association;

(2)"High managerial agent" means an officer of a corporation or any other agent in a position of comparable authority with respect to the formulation of corporate policy or the supervision in a managerial capacity of subordinate employees.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.046 - Defense precluded.

It is no defense to any prosecution for an offense in which the criminal responsibility of the defendant is based upon the conduct of another that

(1)Such other person has been acquitted or has not been convicted or has been convicted of some other offense or degree of offense or lacked criminal capacity or was unaware of the defendant's criminal purpose or is immune from prosecution or is not amenable to justice; or

(2)The defendant does not belong to that class of persons who was legally capable of committing the offense in an individual capacity.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60)

Effective 1-01-79

562.011 - Voluntary act.

1.A person is not guilty of an offense unless his or her liability is based on conduct which includes a voluntary act.

2.A "voluntary act" is:

(1)A bodily movement performed while conscious as a result of effort or determination; or

(2)An omission to perform an act of which the actor is physically capable.

3.Possession is a voluntary act if the possessor knowingly procures or receives the thing possessed, or having acquired control of it was aware of his or her control for a sufficient time to have enabled him or her to dispose of it or terminate his or her control.

4.A person is not guilty of an offense based solely upon an omission to perform an act unless the law defining the offense expressly so provides, or a duty to perform the omitted act is otherwise imposed by law.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.031 - Ignorance and mistake.

1.A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he or she engages in such conduct under a mistaken belief of fact or law unless such mistake negatives the existence of the mental state required by the offense.

2.A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he or she believes his or her conduct does not constitute an offense unless his or her belief is reasonable and:

(1)The offense is defined by an administrative regulation or order which is not known to him or her and has not been published or otherwise made reasonably available to him or her, and he or she could not have acquired such knowledge by the exercise of due diligence pursuant to facts known to him or her; or

(2)He or she acts in reasonable reliance upon an official statement of the law, afterward determined to be invalid or erroneous, contained in:

(a)A statute;

(b)An opinion or order of an appellate court; or

(c)An official interpretation of the statute, regulation or order defining the offense made by a public official or agency legally authorized to interpret such statute, regulation or order.

3.The burden of injecting the issue of reasonable belief that conduct does not constitute an offense under subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection 2 of this section is on the defendant.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.021 - Culpable mental state, application.

1.If the definition of any offense prescribes a culpable mental state but does not specify the conduct, attendant circumstances or result to which it applies, the prescribed culpable mental state applies to each such material element.

2.If the definition of an offense prescribes a culpable mental state with regard to a particular element or elements of that offense, the prescribed culpable mental state shall be required only as to specified element or elements, and a culpable mental state shall not be required as to any other element of the offense.

3.Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section and section 562.026, if the definition of any offense does not expressly prescribe a culpable mental state for any elements of the offense, a culpable mental state is nonetheless required and is established if a person acts purposely or knowingly; but reckless or criminally negligent acts do not establish such culpable mental state.

4.If the definition of an offense prescribes criminal negligence as the culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts purposely or knowingly or recklessly.When recklessness suffices to establish a culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts purposely or knowingly.When acting knowingly suffices to establish a culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts purposely.

5.Knowledge that conduct constitutes an offense, or knowledge of the existence, meaning or application of the statute defining an offense is not an element of an offense unless the statute clearly so provides.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1993 S.B. 167, A.L. 1997 S.B. 89)

562.071 - Duress.

1.It is an affirmative defense that the defendant engaged in the conduct charged to constitute an offense because he or she was coerced to do so, by the use of, or threatened imminent use of, unlawful physical force upon him or her or a third person, which force or threatened force a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist.

2.The defense of "duress" as defined in subsection 1 is not available:

(1)As to the crime of murder;

(2)As to any offense when the defendant recklessly places himself or herself in a situation in which it is probable that he or she will be subjected to the force or threatened force described in subsection 1 of this section.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

(1984) Duress is not available as a defense to first degree felony murder. State v. Rumble (Mo. banc), 680 S.W.2d 939.

562.086 - Lack of responsibility because of mental disease or defect.

1.A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he was incapable of knowing and appreciating the nature, quality or wrongfulness of his or her conduct.

2.The procedures for the defense of lack of responsibility because of mental disease or defect are governed by the provisions of chapter 552.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1993 S.B. 180, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.061 - Liability of individual for conduct of corporation or unincorporated association.

A person is criminally liable for conduct constituting an offense which he or she performs or causes to be performed in the name of or in behalf of a corporation or unincorporated association to the same extent as if such conduct were performed in his or her own name or behalf.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

562.041 - Responsibility for the conduct of another.

1.A person is criminally responsible for the conduct of another when:

(1)The statute defining the offense makes him or her so responsible; or

(2)Either before or during the commission of an offense with the purpose of promoting the commission of an offense, he or she aids or agrees to aid or attempts to aid such other person in planning, committing or attempting to commit the offense.

2.However, a person is not so responsible if:

(1)He or she is the victim of the offense committed or attempted;

(2)The offense is so defined that his or her conduct was necessarily incident to the commission or attempt to commit the offense.If his or her conduct constitutes a related but separate offense, he or she is criminally responsible for that offense but not for the conduct or offense committed or attempted by the other person;

(3)Before the commission of the offense such person abandons his or her purpose and gives timely warning to law enforcement authorities or otherwise makes proper effort to prevent the commission of the offense.

3.The defense provided by subdivision (3) of subsection 2 of this section is an affirmative defense.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

(1997) Female can be held guilty of rape where she aids a male in committing the rape, even though she cannot commit a rape individually.Bass v. State, 950 S.W.2d 940 (Mo.App.W.D.).

562.014 - Conspiracy — guilt for an offense may be based on.

1.Guilt for an offense may be based upon a conspiracy to commit an offense when a person, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of an offense, agrees with another person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such offense.

2.It is no defense to a prosecution for conspiring to commit an offense that a person, who knows that a person with whom he or she conspires to commit an offense has conspired with another person or persons to commit the same offense, does not know the identity of such other person or persons.

3.If a person conspires to commit a number of offenses, he or she can be found guilty of only one offense of conspiracy so long as such multiple offenses are the object of the same agreement.

4.No person may be convicted of an offense based upon a conspiracy to commit an offense unless an overt act in pursuance of such conspiracy is alleged and proved to have been done by him or her or by a person with whom he or she conspired.

5.(1)No person shall be convicted of an offense based upon a conspiracy to commit an offense if, after conspiring to commit the offense, he or she prevented the accomplishment of the objectives of the conspiracy under circumstances manifesting a renunciation of his or her criminal purpose.

(2)The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of renunciation of criminal purpose under subdivision (1) of this subsection.

6.For the purpose of time limitations on prosecutions:

(1)A conspiracy to commit an offense is a continuing course of conduct which terminates when the offense or offenses which are its object are committed or the agreement that they be committed is abandoned by the defendant and by those with whom he or she conspired;

(2)If an individual abandons the agreement, the conspiracy is terminated as to him or her only if he or she advises those with whom he or she has conspired of his or her abandonment or he or she informs the law enforcement authorities of the existence of the conspiracy and of his or her participation in it.

7.A person shall not be charged, convicted or sentenced on the basis of the same course of conduct of both the actual commission of an offense and a conspiracy to commit that offense.

8.Unless otherwise set forth in the statute creating the offense, when guilt for a felony or misdemeanor is based upon a conspiracy to commit that offense, the felony or misdemeanor shall be classified one step lower than the class provided for the felony or misdemeanor in the statute creating the offense.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491, A.L. 2016 H.B. 2332)

Transferred 2014; formerly 564.016; Effective 1-01-17

562.051 - Conviction of different degrees of offenses.

Except as otherwise provided, when two or more persons are criminally responsible for an offense which is divided into degrees, each person is guilty of such degree as is compatible with his or her own culpable mental state and with his or her own accountability for an aggravating or mitigating fact or circumstance.