Involuntary Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Involuntary, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Involuntary?

An act that is not done willingly,intentionally,deliberately or out of choice.

History and Meaning of Involuntary

The term "involuntary" refers to an act that is done without the individual's intention or consent. In legal terms, it means an act that is not performed voluntarily or deliberately. The act is not done out of choice, but instead, the individual is compelled to perform the action under duress or as a result of coercion.

Involuntary acts can be due to a variety of circumstances, such as physical force, mental incapacity, or a medical condition that affects decision-making. Understanding the circumstances surrounding the act is essential in determining if an action is involuntary.

Examples of Involuntary

  1. If a person takes medication that causes them to have a blackout, and during that time, they commit a crime- this act would be considered involuntary as the person was not in control of themselves.
  2. If a person is forced to sign a document under threat of physical harm, their signature would be considered involuntary as it was not given willingly.
  3. If a driver accidentally hits a pedestrian due to sudden medical complications, this would be considered involuntary manslaughter as the driver did not intend to cause harm and it was caused by an external factor.

Legal Terms Similar to Involuntary

  1. Coercion: The act of forcing someone to do something they wouldn't normally do.
  2. Duress: A situation where an individual is forced to do something because of the threat of physical harm or injury.
  3. Negligence: The failure to take reasonable care in a situation that results in harm to another person.