Actus non reum facit

Actus non reum facit, nisi mens sit rea. An act does not make a person guilty, unless the intention be also guilty. This maxim applies only to criminal cases; in civil matters it is otherwise. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2211.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.