Uncovering the Difference Between General and Specific Intent Crimes

Although anyone arrested for a crime typically goes through the same initial arrest and booking process, the way that a legal system interprets the intent of a crime determines the severity of the punishment.

If you or a loved one were arrested in Dallas, make sure to understand the importance of understanding intent and the importance of securing a bail bond.

What is “Intent”?

When it comes to crime, intent is in reference to the reasons behind a person’s criminal acts. Although not all intent is initially clear, there are usually two types of intent that the courts focus on when determining how to reprimand a person for their offense.

What is General Intent Crime?

Most general intent crimes are misdemeanors or felonies in the eyes of the law. A general intent crime is one that only has to prove a person committed a physical criminal act. There has to be no intent proven. The prosecution must only prove the crime, and the legal system moves forward from that point on.

General intent crimes typically include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Second-Degree Murder
  • DUIs
  • False Imprisonment
  • Rape 
  • Kidnapping

What is Specific Intent Crime?

Specific intent is a crime where the offender both intended to commit the crime and intended to blatantly break the law.

When specific intent is involved in a crime, the presiding judge will make the mental state of the criminal a main focus of the prosecution’s job. Therefore, the prosecution must be able to prove that the person committed a crime under the following pretenses:

  • Knowingly
  • Willfully
  • Purposefully
  • With Recklessness

Some examples of specific intent crimes are:

  • Burglary
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Larceny
  • Child Molestation
  • Solicitation
  • Murder

When Should You Contact a Dallas Bail Bond Agent?

No matter what you did or didn’t actually do, ending up on the wrong side of the law is no picnic for anyone. Not only is having to spend the night in jail uncomfortable, scary, and sometimes dangerous, but getting arrested also comes with a slew of other repercussions:

  • Your employment could be at risk
  • Depending on your circumstances, your arrest could leave a massive stain on your record
  • Housing opportunities could vanish
  • Future employment opportunities are at risk
  • You could give up a number of your personal liberties after release

While a bail bond won’t guarantee that all of these risks are mitigated, a bail bond can help a person get back on track faster than they would waiting in a jail cell until their first hearing.

Getting a Dallas bail bond right away gives a person more time to:

  • Meet with their criminal defense lawyer and form a stronger case
  • Explain their current legal situation to their employer
  • Get finances in order to ensure their family is covered in the instance jail time is necessary
  • Attend mandated therapy or rehabilitation programs

General or Specific, Make 1st Call Bail Bonds Your Ticket Out of Jail

If you have been arrested in Dallas, don’t sit in your cell until your first court hearing. Reach out to 1st Call Bail Bonds for a quick, affordable bail bond. 


Our Dallas office is open 24/7 and is always ready to take on any bail amount. Let us help you or your co-signer start the bail bond application process.

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