Art. 25 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. A crime committed intentionally. Comments

Criminal law establishes liability for various illegal actions. As a rule, a more severe sanction is assigned for a crime committed intentionally than for careless acts. The personal attitude of the perpetrator to his behavior and the upcoming consequences is important when qualifying. Depending on it, there are two types of intent. Let's consider their features.

Art. 25 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

This norm characterizes the specifics of a person’s mental attitude to his own illegal behavior and the consequences it entails. According to Part 2 of the norm, direct intent presupposes awareness of the social danger of an action/inaction, anticipation of the inevitability or possibility of a negative result. In this case, the subject desires the occurrence of negative consequences of his behavior. Indirect intent is distinguished by the fact that the citizen guilty of the crime did not want a negative result to occur, but consciously allowed it or was indifferent to it. This concept is revealed in the 3rd part of the article.

What are crimes?

Before considering the types of intent in criminal law, it is necessary to understand the category of which it is a part. This is a crime. The concept of this category has been formed over many centuries by legal practitioners around the world. Initially, there was no clear distinction between crimes and ordinary offenses. But over time, it became clear that the lack of theoretical development does not allow the institution of punishment to be used effectively.

This led to the creation of a category of crime. Today it occupies a key position in the entire criminal law industry. According to the most classical theory, a crime is a subtype of offense that has the highest degree of social danger. The fact of committing a crime gives the state the right to apply measures of special legal liability - criminal - to the culprit.


Considering Art. 25 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with comments from lawyers, it can be noted that experts point out that the mental attitude of the person guilty of a crime is expressed in both intellectual and volitional activity. In the first case, there is a certain degree of awareness by the citizen of the illegality and danger of his behavior. He foresees the onset of specific consequences and understands their inevitability. The volitional side of the relationship is expressed in the presence of a desire for a negative result to occur or in its absence, but consciously allowing it or indifference to it. Accordingly, in the latter case there is indirect intent. In some cases it is called eventual. If there is a desire for negative consequences to occur, the direct intent of the perpetrator is established.

Criminal intent: concept

So, we come to the topic of this article. It should be noted that the concept, features and types of intent are regulated by the provisions of Article 25 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. This norm establishes an intentional form of guilt. In the practical activities of law enforcement officers, intent is found 90% more often than negligence, which is also a form of guilt.

According to Article 25, intent is the criminal’s awareness of the essence of his activity and awareness of the possible consequences. In addition, this category also includes the fact of the presence of will, which is directed to commit the act. However, there are a large number of life situations in which crimes can be committed. Therefore, the legislator allows for the existence of several types of intent. Some are enshrined directly in the norms of federal legislation, others are derived by legal theorists.

The intellectual side

According to Art. 25 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, it is characterized by the degree of awareness of the public danger of inaction/action. It seems that it also implies an understanding of the inevitability/possibility of negative consequences. With direct intent, a citizen, as a rule, realizes not only the danger of his behavior, but also its illegality. In some cases, the subject foresees the occurrence of some specific or several alternative consequences, in others - the inevitability of their occurrence. The difference between these manifestations depends on the nature of the action/inaction. For example, shooting a victim in the head with a pistol gives the perpetrator reason to foresee the inevitability of death. Damage to the victim's brain is usually incompatible with life. Accordingly, in such a situation, Part 2 of Art. 25 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Judicial practice pays special attention to the personal attitude of the perpetrator to his behavior. In this case, both the intellectual and volitional side of it are important.

Important point

The ability to clearly distinguish the attitude of the perpetrator to his behavior, guided by Art. 25 of the Criminal Code, is of particular importance in the application of criminal norms. The essence of differentiation is not so much to assign a more severe sanction in one case than in another. Applying Art. 25 of the Criminal Code, it is necessary to take into account that some acts can be committed only with full awareness and desire for the occurrence of dangerous consequences. Accordingly, the behavior of a citizen prohibited by criminal norms cannot be qualified as an act of this type if the signs provided for in Part 3 of this article are identified. In addition, an act can be recognized as preparation or attempted crime only if there is direct intent.

Key features of the category

Like many legal phenomena, a criminal offense has characteristic features that explain its features. In the legal system of the Russian Federation, the category is determined by the following points:

  • an act of a criminal nature;
  • guilt;
  • danger to society;
  • criminal wrongfulness.

Thus, according to key features, a crime is not a targeted offense that harms one or a limited number of entities, but a dangerous act that directly infringes on the interests of the entire society.

Clarifications of the Supreme Court

Paragraph 2 of the plenary Resolution No. 1 of 1999 emphasizes that murder may have signs of both the 2nd and 3rd parts of Art. 25 of the Criminal Code. If we talk about the attempted crime, then everything is clear here. It is possible only with direct intent. In other words, as the Supreme Court explains, what he did indicates that the citizen clearly understood the social danger of his behavior. He foresaw the inevitability or probability of a person's death and wanted it. However, the expected consequences did not occur due to the occurrence of circumstances beyond the control of the perpetrator. For example, this could be the active resistance of the victim, the intervention of strangers, timely medical assistance, and so on.

Other types of category

Of course, the legislative norm enshrined in Article 25 is not the only source of criminal law science. Nevertheless, the types of intent enshrined in it and their legal significance are the basis of law enforcement practice. However, in theory, there are other classifications of the category presented in the article, which also have the right to exist. Of course, not all of them are competent and fully thought out, but their presence indicates the work done in this direction.

Other criteria

It is worth saying that the doctrine also provides for other features besides those enshrined in Art. 25 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Punishment is always imposed after a thorough study of all proven facts in the case. Accordingly, the severity of the sanction may be affected by a variety of signs identified during the proceedings. For example, depending on the degree of foresight of certain consequences dangerous to society, a distinction is made between specific (definite) and non-specific (uncertain) intent. The importance of their correct differentiation is as follows. With unspecified intent, the behavior of the perpetrator is qualified according to the actual consequences that arose. If a person’s attitude towards his actions/inactions was definite, but the plan could not be fully realized for reasons beyond his control, the act is considered as preparation for an attack or an attempted crime.

Types of intent by degree of certainty

Classifications of the mentioned category not specified in Article 25 cannot be used in law enforcement practice. However, they play a large role in the process of theoretical development of the problem. Therefore, different types of intent are distinguished than in the norm of Article 25. Quite popular today is the classification according to the degree of specificity. According to this theory, scientists identify:

  • specific intent;
  • the intent is not specified.

Both types are endowed with their own characteristics that characterize their legal nature and right to exist. Thus, in order to understand their difference from other types of intent, it is necessary to consider the specified and non-specified types separately.

Formation time

Depending on it, intent can be premeditated or suddenly arisen. According to the general rules, in the first case the citizen is considered to be a bearer of deeper negative attitudes, qualities, and value orientations. Accordingly, a person who committed an act under the influence of sudden intent will be considered less dangerous, other conditions being the same. These circumstances must be taken into account when assigning a sanction.

The heat of passion

It is considered as a type of intent that arose suddenly. This condition can be due to various reasons. Affect is strong emotional excitement. It can be caused by violence, grave insult, bullying on the part of the victim, or other immoral or illegal acts. The cause of affect is also often a prolonged psychotraumatic situation. It, in turn, is determined by the systematic misconduct or immoral behavior of the victim. The commission of an act with affected intent is reflected in the privileged composition. For example, it is present in articles 113, 107 of the Criminal Code.

Motives and goals

Any crime qualified under Art. is always associated with them. 25 of the Criminal Code. Purpose and motive as mandatory signs of an act are indicated only in some constructions. Examples of such compositions are present in Articles 184, 186, 145, 294, 202, etc. Meanwhile, within the framework of criminal proceedings, the establishment of motive and purpose is mandatory, regardless of whether they are enshrined as mandatory features in a particular norm or not. They allow for a moral assessment of what has been done. A motive is a conscious internal urge of a subject. It is formed under the influence of the individual needs of the person. Motives can be hooligan, selfish, careerist. Crimes can be committed due to national, religious, racial enmity or hatred, blood feud, or political reasons. The purpose of the act is a specific final result perceived by the person. The subject, in fact, strives to achieve it by committing a crime.

Category Composition

Types of intent in criminal law are a direct part of the crime. This phenomenon is a structure characteristic of an offense, the existence of which allows the application of the norms of the institution of responsibility. In other words, the corpus delicti of a crime is its internal structure. According to classical criminal law theory, its elements include subject, object, subjective and objective sides. Each element is characterized by its own specificity. However, in the context of this article we are interested exclusively in the subjective side, because it is within the framework of this that we will consider the key types of intent.

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