2020 Arkansas Code
Title 5 - Criminal Offenses
Subtitle 1 - General Provisions
Chapter 2 - Principles of Criminal Liability
Subchapter 2 - Culpability
§ 5-2-206. Ignorance or mistake

Universal Citation: AR Code § 5-2-206 (2020)
  1. (a) It is a defense to a prosecution that the actor engaged in the conduct charged to constitute the offense under a mistaken belief of fact if:

    1. (1) The statute defining the offense or a statute relating to the offense expressly provides that a mistaken belief of fact constitutes a defense; or

    2. (2) Mistaken belief of fact establishes a defense of justification provided by § 5-2-601 et seq.

  2. (b) Except as provided by subsection (c) of this section, a person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he or she engages in that conduct believing that the conduct does not as a matter of law constitute an offense.

  3. (c) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution that the actor engaged in the conduct charged to constitute the offense believing that the conduct did not as a matter of law constitute an offense, if the actor acted in reasonable reliance upon an official statement of the law contained in:

    1. (1) A statute or other enactment afterward determined to be invalid or erroneous;

    2. (2) The latest judicial decision of the highest state or federal court that has decided the matter; or

    3. (3) An official interpretation of a public servant or agency charged by law with responsibility for the interpretation or administration of the law defining the offense.

  4. (d)

    1. (1) Although ignorance or mistake of fact would otherwise afford a defense to the offense charged, the defense is not available if the defendant would be guilty of another offense had the situation been as he or she supposed.

    2. (2) However, in a case described by subdivision (d)(1) of this section, the ignorance or mistake of fact of the defendant reduces the class or degree of the offense of which he or she may be convicted to that of the offense of which the defendant would be guilty had the situation been as he or she supposed.

  5. (e) A mistake of law other than as to the existence or meaning of the statute under which the defendant is prosecuted is relevant to disprove the specific culpable mental state required by the statute under which the defendant is prosecuted.

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