Difference Between Specific and General Intent Crimes in Georgia

The basic difference between specific intent crimes and general intent crimes is that specific intent requires that the defendant intended both the action and the result of the action. A general intent crime means that the defendant only intended the action. Statutes are not always clear regarding which type of crime is considered specific intent vs. general intent. Instead, courts look to whether the defendant purposefully, knowingly and voluntarily committed a crime with the intent of harm, or whether the defendant merely purposefully, knowingly and voluntarily committed a crime.

Crimes That May Be Termed Specific Intent

Some crimes require that the defendant knowingly and voluntarily committed the crime with specific intent. These crimes may include:

  • Murder
  • Conspiracy
  • Attempted crimes, such as attempted murder
  • False imprisonment
  • Larceny

Crimes That May Be Termed General Intent

General intent crimes are usually based on whether the court finds that the defendant has acted negligently or recklessly. These crimes may include:

  • Negligent homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Arson
  • Rape

Contact a Georgia Criminal Attorney

If you have been arrested or charged with a specific or general intent crime, contact our Georgia criminal attorneys. Don’t attempt to go through the criminal court process alone, as the consequences of your actions could be life changing.


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