22 Dec 2022


Proximate Cause: The Link Between an Action and an Injury

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Assignment

Words: 582

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0

Each crime is made up of essential elements. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of these crucial elements before an accused person is found guilty of the charge (Mince-Didier, n.d.). The essential parts of a crime include the defendant's identity, the act they committed, the intent behind the action, and the injury sustained or loss incurred by the victim (Mince-Didier, n.d.). In this case, the identity of the suspects is Paul and Leo. The act committed or crime charged is that Paul and Leo caused severe bodily injury to the victim, who is Victor, and they did so by physical assault. Physical assault is defined as an intentional act of inflicting physical contact that results in bodily harm (Wishnia, 2020). Bodily injury refers to physical sickness, pain, or any form of impairment to the body's physical functioning (Freeman, 1987). Serious bodily injury constitutes any bodily harm that results in significant loss or impairment of any bodily organ's functions, or substantial disfigurement, considerable impairment of health, or significant risk of death (Freeman, 1987). The injury sustained is that Paul broke Victor's nose. Also, the victim incurred a loss in the form of medical expenses. 

The fourth essential part of this crime is intent. The intent, also known as mens rea, refers to the mental aspect of an act (University of Minnesota, 2020). Depending on the actions or knowledge of the accused, the intent of a crime can take different forms, namely; 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Purposely : In this case, the defendant commits the act intending to cause the injury or loss (University of Minnesota, 2020). 

Knowingly : A person commits an act fully aware of what harm it would cause (University of Minnesota, 2020). 

Recklessly : The person is aware of the risks involved in an action but ignores it all together and carries on with the act (University of Minnesota, 2020). 

Negligently : There are reasonably recognizable dangers associated with an act, but the defendant fails to recognize them and carries on with it oblivious of the risks. 

In the present case, various natures of intent are in play. The first one is engaging in crime knowingly. Paul, fully aware that striking Victor on the nose would cause Victor bodily harm, still goes ahead and consciously hits him with a closed fist. The intent can also be classified as purposely. Paul is well informed about the nature of act of hitting someone with a closed fist. By going ahead to strike Victor, he is acting with an intention or purpose of causing physical bodily pain or harm. The other accused, Leo, displayed reckless intent. He is aware of the dangers of asking his colleague to attack Victor, but he still urges him to do so nonetheless. However, Leo, an argument of Proximate Cause, could be brought in in defense of Leo. Proximate cause is the concept that though a person may have committed some sort of act, it is not the act that led to the injury (Knobe & Shapiro, 2020). It may be argued that despite Leo engaging in asking his colleague to strike their victim, his actions did not directly result in the injury. Paul would have ignored, in which case, the damage would not occur though he would have acted in that manner. 

The statute of Simple Assault, as stipulated under (13VSA1023) (1), is viable in this case. It states that a person is liable for simple assault if he/she attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another (Vermont laws, 2020). If I were the prosecutor, I would call attention to the injury Victor sustained. If I were the defense, I would get attention to the defendants' alcohol test results to rebut the evidence of intent since the accused could have acted irrationally under the influence of alcohol. I expect Paul to be convicted and Leo to be set free. 


Freeman, J. L. (1987). State v. Goodwin: Defining Serious Bodily Injury in Aggravated Assault and Kidnapping Cases.  Mont. L. Rev. 48 , 179. 

Knobe, J., & Shapiro, S. J. (2020). Proximate cause explained: An essay in experimental jurisprudence.  SSRN Electronic Journal . Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340171657_Proximate_Cause_Explained_An_Essay_in_Experimental_Jurisprudence 

Mince-Didier, A. (n.d.). Vermont misdemeanor assault & battery laws. Retrieved from https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/vermont-assault-battery-laws.htm 

University of Minnesota. (2020). Criminal intent. Retrieved from https://open.lib.umn.edu/criminallaw/chapter/4-2-criminal-intent/ 

Vermont laws. (2020). 13 V.S.A. § 1023: Simple Assault. Retrieved from https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/13/019/01023 

Wishnia, J. (2020). Criminal assault laws. Retrieved from https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/criminal-assault-laws.html 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Proximate Cause: The Link Between an Action and an Injury.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Research in Criminal Justice

Research is the primary tool for progressing knowledge in different fields criminal justice included. The results of studies are used by criminal justice learners, scholars, criminal justice professionals, and...

Words: 250

Pages: 1

Views: 165

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

The Art of Taking and Writing Notes in Law Enforcement

Every individual must seek adequate measures to facilitate input for appropriate output in daily engagements. For law enforcement officers, the work description involving investigations and reporting communicates the...

Words: 282

Pages: 1

Views: 183

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Justice System Issues: The Joseph Sledge Case

The Joseph Sledge case reveals the various issues in the justice system. The ethical issues portrayed in the trial include the prosecutor's misconduct. To begin with, the prosecution was involved in suppressing...

Words: 689

Pages: 2

Views: 252

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Victim Advocacy: Date Rape

General practice of law requires that for every action complained of there must be probable cause and cogent evidence to support the claim. Lack thereof forces the court to dismiss the case or acquit the accused. It...

Words: 1247

Pages: 4

Views: 76

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

New Rehabilitation and Evaluation

Introduction The rate of recidivism has been on the rise in the United States over the past two decades. Due to mass incarceration, the number of people in American prisons has been escalating. While people...

Words: 2137

Pages: 8

Views: 140

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Justification of Reflections and Recommendations

Credible understanding and application of criminal justice require adequacy of techniques in analyzing the crime scene, documenting the shooting scene, and analysis of ballistic evidence. The approaches used in...

Words: 351

Pages: 1

Views: 127


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.