Problem setting. Any kind of a crime is a whole process of the subject’s behavior, which depends on objective conditions of time and space and subjective conditions of internal physiological and psychological state of the person. Consequently, crime objective features are deemed to exist in unity with its subjective symptoms. That is why dialectical understanding of the integrity of objective and subjective features in human behavior serves as the basis for proper understanding of the crime essence. Furthermore, the abovementioned could not be achieved without a detailed study of the value of the crime purpose, both as a mandatory feature of the subjective aspects of crime composition, and when it is goes beyond the compulsory elements of the crime.

It is also important to emphasise, that the value of the crime purpose is aggravated under the enhanced judicial practice, which is formed by the application of the new Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine (hereinafter, CPC). Indeed, according to its rules, the purpose of the crime is one of the circumstances to be proved in every criminal proceeding.

Last scientific researches and publications analysis. The issues of the motive role and crime purpose were researched by such prominent scientists as N. Miroshnichenko, V. Yakushkin, P. Dahel, V. Kotov, V. Tagantsev and others. Thus, considerable attention was paid to review exactly where the goal stands as mandatory feature of the subjective aspect of the crime.

Concerning cases when the crime purpose is an optional feature of the subjective aspect of its composition, this issue requires further in-depth analysis.

Formulation of the article’s purpose. The task, which was set before this study, is whether crime purpose is optional feature of its subjective aspect analysis.

The statement of basic material of research. The concept of the crime motive is closely connected with its purpose, as a motive, in itself, does not turn into criminal behavior. Transitional phase of this is the transformation of crime motive into its purpose. That serves as perfect prototype of the desired result which offender seeks while committing a socially dangerous act.

The purpose of the crime, as well as its motive, is a sign that is typical for any conscious human behavior. Moreover, one of the major social and psychological characteristics of any person stands the level of activity in achieving its goals [1, P. 14]. A great value of the optional features of the crime subjective aspect in general and of purpose in particular is clear: without their definition is difficult to distinguish one crime from another crime. In addition, court practice analysis shows that the majority of cancelled verdicts are due to improper crime motive and purpose qualification.

The crime purpose occurs being based on a criminal motive, forming together form the basis, on which a specific intellectual and volitional activity of crime subject appears and is directly related to the commission of a socially dangerous act. In terms of criminal law, socially dangerous consequences of crime, covered by the motives and purposes, could only exist within the framework of an intentional crime, as in the case of unintentional crime purpose, as far as motive, does exist at all. However, it should be noted that according to some scholars, in the case of presence of criminal arrogance, as a form of negligence, yet there are reason and purpose. Nevertheless, they are characterized by the fact that they are multidimensional, branched and are due to self-confident expectation of preventing negative consequences, personal by nature and are an expression of one’s will. The situation is similar in the case of guilt in a form of criminal negligence, where there are also a unique motives and goals [2].

The concept of goal is closely linked to the needs, interests and values, as the appearance of a specific goal is always due to objective reality. Concerning the purpose origin definition, it must be emphasised, that the result of the selection is usually proportional to the available personal capabilities and achievements. Thus, purpose objective evidence could be seen as it lies in definition by the environment that surrounds the crime subject. Subjectively, it is a sign that the purpose is a deliberate creation of human reason and bears the imprint of its subjectivity. The purpose of the crime has different meanings in determining the limits of criminal liability. For some elements of the crime, it may be mandatory feature of the subjective aspect, while for the other it goes beyond.

However, it is vital to understand that the crime purpose definition, in cases where it was not legislatively assigned neither to the number of crime aggravating nor mitigating circumstances, yet has its significance for the court at sentencing. The provisions of criminal procedure law, namely Section 2, Part 1 of the Art. 91 of the CPC confirm this statement. In accordance with them, the defendant’s guilt, a form of guilt, crime motive and purpose are to be proved in criminal proceeding. The specified position, however, should not be interpreted as a need for crime purpose or motive as mandatory features of any crime. Thus, for the meaning of qualifications they are generally optional. Though, they must be taken into account while determining of the crime and criminal’s public danger and while giving a court sentence [3, P. 256].

The purpose may determine not only the direction, but also the phases of human activity. In this regard, it appears to be system-start. It can provide a system of human nature, involving specific sequence of operations (actions, behavior) [4, P. 200]. Thus, using such feature as certainty purpose, the division of the crime as an integral process at certain stages of its commission could be made. However, it should be noted that while the commission of the crime a person may not seek for a criminal purpose, but the means, by which this is achieved, could be criminal, e.g. citizen K. was found guilty of pawnshop robbery commission in order to obtain the material means to repay the loan. In this case, the ultimate goal was to repay the loan, while robbery is just one of the steps to achieve the goal. That is the why the crimes’ purpose by itself was not malicious, but those were the means of its achieving. Thus, by their content, purposes could be both socially dangerous and socially neutral. In the latter case, the purpose does not require condemnation of the state as negative rating will apply only to socially dangerous way to its achievement. That is why the purpose, as the basis of the subjective aspect of the crime, is not fully included in the concept of guilt.

The motive and purpose of the crime are separate psychological features of the subjective aspect of the crime, but they are interdependent, interrelated and only in its unity can give a complete picture of the behavior orientation (e.g., self-serving motive and selfish purpose in such crimes as theft, robbery, fraud).

The purpose of the crime, as far as crime motive, may be different by nature: e.g. the purpose of illicit enrichment, another crime concealment, violent change of the constitutional order, sale of counterfeit securities etc. Various classification for allocation of crime purposes for different types could be made. Taking into account the criterion of certainty, purposes can be divided into certain and uncertain. By the criterion of approachability there are real and abstract purposes. In terms of time-base there are close, distant and future purposes as the most distant in time from the moment of conception. Based on correlation of purposes with intelligent moments of mind, direct and indirect targets can distinguished. By the importance for a criminal, purposes could be divided for paramount and secondary [4, P. 190].

In general, any purpose setting in the criminal’s actions has effect on the type of the person’s fault, since the purpose is inextricably linked with a strong element of the intent. The purpose of the crime is also the result, which is directly covered by this will. It follows that if the crime purpose belongs to the mandatory features of a crime, such crime may be committed only with the direct intent. However, certain purposes, as it was outlined earlier, are present even in the case of careless crime commission. In this case, such purposes are outside the crime scope and do not have any influence on the type of the guilt. Furthermore, proper crime motive and purpose determination helps to find out the actual degree of guilt, as a quantitative description of its social nature. That is determined by a combination of the guilt type and content, with all the features of the criminal’s mental attitude to the objective circumstances of the crime and its subjective, psychological reasons [2].

Conclusion. The concept of crime purpose, as well as the goal of all human behavior, is an essential feature of the act of the criminal. However, the allegations of the presence of purpose in the unintentional crime involves reservations about them to be qualitatively different by meaning, nature, and interpretation of psychological mechanisms of influence on behavior from those intentional crimes.


  1. Гришко А. Я. Уровень субъективного контроля осужденных, больных наркоманией // Прикладная юридическая психология. – 2007. – №1. – С. 14 – 19.
  2. Фугарова Н. С. Установление вины в преступлениях совершенных по неосторожности [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу:
  3. Кримінальний процесуальний кодекс України: Науково-практичний коментар / О. М. Бандурка, Є. М. Блажівський та ін. // за заг. ред. В. Я. Тація, В. П. Пшонки, А. В. Портнова. – X.: Право, 2012. – 768 с.
  4. Якушкин В. А. Субъективное вменение и его значение в уголовном праве. – Тольятти: ТолПи, 1998. – 296 с.

 У статті розглянуті особливості та значення мети злочину як факультативної ознаки суб’єктивної сторони складу злочину. Зокрема, досліджено значення мети злочину при індивідуалізації покарання.

Ключові слова: злочин, мета, суб’єктивна сторона.

The article describes the features and the importance of crime purpose as optional sign of the subjective side of the crime. In particular, significance of the crime purpose for individualization of punishment was investigated.

Keywords: crime, purpose, subjective side.


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