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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 4 - Absolute Liability for an Illinois Crime

This section of the Illinois Criminal Code provides an exception to the crime law concerning the four mental states, as described in Sections 4-4 through 4-7 (see 720 ILCS 5/4-4 through 720 ILCS 5/4-7). A person may be guilty of a crime without having intent, knowledge, recklessness, or negligence if the crime is a misdemeanor that is not punishable by incarceration or a fine exceeding a certain specified dollar amount. This concept is called "absolute liability." When a defendant is absolutely liable, the prosecution doesn't have to prove any mental state -- only that the defendant committed a voluntary act.

Have questions about an upcoming criminal case in Illinois? Call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 4 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed - please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 4

Sec. 4-9. Absolute liability.
    (720 ILCS 5/4-9)

A person may be guilty of an offense without having, as to each element thereof, one of the mental states described in Sections 4-4 through 4-7 if the offense is a misdemeanor which is not punishable by incarceration or by a fine exceeding $500, or the statute defining the offense clearly indicates a legislative purpose to impose absolute liability for the conduct described. (Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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