motive | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Investigations

In the criminal justice context, motive refers to the reason or underlying cause behind a criminal act.

It is the psychological or emotional drive that leads a person to commit a crime. Motive can be a key element in determining the guilt or innocence of a suspect in a criminal investigation, as it provides insight into the intent and mindset of the perpetrator.

Motive is different from intent, which refers to the specific purpose or goal of the criminal act. Motive is more general and can encompass various factors, such as financial gain, revenge, jealousy, or even mental illness.

While motive is not always necessary to prove a crime, it can be a powerful tool for prosecutors in building a case against a suspect. By establishing a clear motive, prosecutors can help to establish the suspect’s intent and provide a more complete picture of the crime.

In summary, motive is a key factor in the criminal justice system. It provides important context for understanding the reasons behind criminal behavior and can help establish guilt or innocence in a criminal investigation.

Learn More

On This Site

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 03/10/2023


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Doc's Things and Stuff uses Accessibility Checker to monitor our website's accessibility.