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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Malice is the intentional activity of doing a wrongful or illegal act without proper justification and in such a way to inflict injury on another. Malice is no accident, it is a very deliberate, purposeful act.

A defendants intentions can be gauged by the presence or absence of malice. Actual malice is called express malice, it was expressed on a victim. Implied malice is called constructive malice, malice or the intent of the defendant can be shown by making inferences in the offenders behavior. For example, say you robbed a bank and had possession of a pistol. Your intentions to harm someone can be inferred because you have the pistol. In other words, you have shown that malice is implied because you went to the bank armed. Even if you never fired the weapon, it can be said that you had implied malice because you brought the weapon.