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5.7 Knowingly—Defined

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An act is done knowingly if the defendant is aware of the act and does not [act] [fail to act] through ignorance, mistake, or accident. [The government is not required to prove that the defendant knew that [his] [her] acts or omissions were unlawful.] You may consider evidence of the defendant’s words, acts, or omissions, along with all the other evidence, in deciding whether the defendant acted knowingly. 


The second sentence of this instruction should not be given when an element of the offense requires the government to prove that the defendant knew that what the defendant did was unlawful. See United States v. Liu, 731 F.3d 982, 994-95 (9th Cir. 2013) (criminal copyright infringement); United States v. Santillan, 243 F.3d 1125, 1129 (9th Cir. 2001) (violation of Lacey Act); United States v. Turman, 122 F.3d 1167, 1169 (9th Cir. 1997) (money laundering case). 

Approved 3/2018