Knowledge that one's actions are wrong or contrary to law, where such knowledge is an element of a criminal offense or a basis for liability.
Origin of scienterLatin knowingly, consciously from sciēns scient- present participle of scīre to know ; see science .
From Latin scienter (“knowingly"), from sciÅ (“know").
scienter - Legal Definition
- A knowledge beforehand of the consequences of an action or failure to act that makes a person legally responsible for those consequences. Such advance knowledge may make the person subject to civil or criminal punishment.
- An intention to deceive or defraud (usually applied to stock fraud). See also knowing and mens rea.