Section 13A-2-6

Effect of ignorance or mistake upon liability.

(a) A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in that conduct under a mistaken belief of fact unless:

(1) His factual mistake negatives the culpable mental state required for the commission of an offense; or

(2) The statute defining the offense or a statute related thereto expressly provides that such a factual mistake constitutes a defense or exemption; or

(3) The factual mistake is of a kind that supports a defense of justification as defined in Article 2 of Chapter 3 of this title.

(b) A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in that conduct under a mistaken belief that it does not, as a matter of law, constitute an offense, unless his mistaken belief is founded upon an official statement of the law contained in a statute or the latest judicial decision of the highest state or federal court which has decided on the matter.

(c) The burden of injecting the issue of mistake of law under subsection (b) of this section is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.

(d) A mistake of law, other than as to the existence or meaning of the statute under which the defendant is prosecuted, is relevant to disprove the specific state of mental culpability required by the statute under which the defendant is prosecuted.

(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §325.)