Actus Reus

Criminal Law.  The guilty act.

The term “actus reus” refers to the wrongful act or omission to act which renders the defendant criminally liable if combined with mens rea (a guilty mind).  In order to be criminal, the act must be voluntary.  Thus, acts which are reflexive, convulsive, performed while unconscious, or otherwise involuntary, are insufficient, as are mere bad thoughts unaccompanied by action.

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