A.R.S. 13-202(B) Arizona Criminal Liability Regardless of Mental State
In Arizona, it is well settled that the legislature may enact laws imposing criminal liability regardless of whether the perpetrator had any particular mental state. See State v. Lycett, 133 Ariz. 185, 192, 650 P.2d 487, 494 (App. 1982) (providing the state has wide latitude to enact strict liability statutes that protect public health, safety, and welfare); Ariz. Mines Supply Co.,107 Ariz. at 207, 484 P.2d at 627 (holding "the legislature may make the doing of an act or the neglect to do something a crime without requiring criminal intent").
The legislature has specified that in determining whether a criminal statute requires the existence of a particular mental state:
if a statute defining an offense does not expressly prescribe a culpable mental state that is sufficient for commission of the offense, no culpable mental state is required for the commission of such offense, and the offense is one of strict liability unless the proscribed conduct necessarily involves a culpable mental state. A.R.S. 13-202(B) (2001).
Strict liability offenses, however, will be found only when there appears to be a clear legislative intent not to require any particular mental state for the commission of the crime. Spitz v. Municipal Court of City of Phoenix, 127 Ariz. 405, 407, 621 P.2d 911, 913 (1980).
When a statute fails to specify a mental state, but the proscribed conduct impliedly requires one, the appropriate mental state may be implied. State v. Berry, 101 Ariz. 310, 313, 419 P.2d 337, 340 (1966).