2017 ORS 161.115¹
Construction of statutes with respect to culpability

(1) If a statute defining an offense prescribes a culpable mental state but does not specify the element to which it applies, the prescribed culpable mental state applies to each material element of the offense that necessarily requires a culpable mental state.

(2) Except as provided in ORS 161.105 (Culpability requirement inapplicable to certain violations and offenses), if a statute defining an offense does not prescribe a culpable mental state, culpability is nonetheless required and is established only if a person acts intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence.

(3) If the definition of an offense prescribes criminal negligence as the culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts intentionally, knowingly or recklessly. When recklessness suffices to establish a culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts intentionally or knowingly. When acting knowingly suffices to establish a culpable mental state, it is also established if a person acts intentionally.

(4) Knowledge that conduct constitutes an offense, or knowledge of the existence, meaning or application of the statute defining an offense, is not an element of an offense unless the statute clearly so provides. [1971 c.743 §10]

Notes of Decisions

Culpable mental state is re­quired as to each ma­te­ri­al ele­ment of charge of being an ex-convict in pos­ses­sion of concealable firearm. State v. Hash, 34 Or App 281, 578 P2d 482 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

“Ele­ment . . . that necessarily requires culpable mental state” refers to ele­ment defining substance or quality of forbidden con­duct, not to such ele­ments as venue, jurisdic­tion or statute of limita­tions. State v. Blanton, 284 Or 591, 588 P2d 28 (1978)

Since [former] ORS 541.615, which is outside the Criminal Code, does not indicate intent to dispense with culpable mental state or create strict liability crime, this sec­tion requires a culpable mental state for viola­tion of that sec­tion. McNutt v. State of Oregon, 56 Or App 545, 642 P2d 692 (1982), aff’d 295 Or 580, 668 P2d 1201 (1983)

Complaint alleging defendant “did unlawfully and knowingly agree to pay a fee to engage in sexual con­duct” was not defective for failing to allege defendant “inten­tionally” agreed to pay fee. State v. Huie, 292 Or 335, 638 P2d 480 (1982)

If defendant actually and reasonably believed compliance with ORS 811.700 (Failure to perform duties of driver when property is damaged) was literally impossible, she would not have had re­quired culpable mental states and failure to give requested jury instruc­tion prejudiced defendant. State v. Monroe, 101 Or App 379, 790 P2d 1188 (1990)

Where fact that determines of­fense subcategory is not de­scribed in statute, fact is not ele­ment of of­fense to which statutory culpable mental state applies. State v. Travalini, 215 Or App 226, 168 P3d 1159 (2007), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 427, 437, 459 (1972); 29 WLR 829 (1993)

Chapter 161

Notes of Decisions

A juvenile court adjudica­tion of whether or not a child committed acts which would be a crim­i­nal viola­tion if committed by an adult must necessarily include an adjudica­tion of all af­firm­a­tive de­fenses that would be available to an adult being tried for the same crim­i­nal viola­tion. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. L.J., 26 Or App 461, 552 P2d 1322 (1976)

Law Review Cita­tions

2 EL 237 (1971); 51 OLR 427-637 (1972)

Chapter 161

Criminal Code


Notes of Decisions

Legislature’s adop­tion of 1971 Criminal Code did not abolish doctrine of transferred intent. State v. Wesley, 254 Or App 697, 295 P3d 1147 (2013), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 161—General Provisions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors161.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 161, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano161.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.