Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Animus Furandi Definition:

Latin: an intent to do wrong.

Related Terms: Mens Rea, Animus, Steal, Animus Contrahendi

Felonious or fraudulent intent.

Similar to the Latin word mens rea.

Often used in the context of theft in reference to the intention to steal, or a trespass with animus furandi. Older law books are rife with references to animus furandi as a necessary component of the offence of larceny, and sometimes referred to it as the spirit of thieving.

For example, if a taxi-driver accepts counterfeit money without knowing it was counterfeit, he has no animus furandi. However, if he knows it is counterfeit and takes it as fare, he takes it with animus furandi, and not by mistake.

Similarly, a person finding and taking property which he believes it to have been lost and does not know the owner, or believes the property to have been abandoned, he (or she) does not commit larceny as there is no animus furandi.

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