Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House without amendment (12/23/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the federal criminal code to establish a default mens rea standard (i.e., a state of mind requirement) for a federal criminal offense whose defining statute does not specify a required state of mind. A conviction for such federal criminal offense requires proof that a defendant acted knowingly.

Additionally, if the offense consists of conduct that a reasonable person would not know or have reason to believe was unlawful, then a conviction requires proof that the defendant knew or had reason to believe such conduct was unlawful.

The bill establishes definitions for the terms "state" and "serious bodily injury" that are generally applicable with respect to federal criminal law. It eliminates various repeated definitions of such terms.

(Sec. 5) It eliminates references to the Canal Zone (i.e., the Panama Canal Zone).

(Sec. 6) The bill amends the federal judicial code to require the Department of Justice to develop and update, index, and publish an inventory of all federal criminal offenses, including violations of agency rules or regulations that constitute or define federal criminal offenses.