Malice refers to a party's intention to do injury to another party.
Malice is either expressed or implied. Malice is expressed when there is manifested a deliberate intention unlawfully to take the life of a human being. Malice is implied when no considerable provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart. Malice, in a legal sense, may be inferred from the evidence and imputed to the defendant, depending on the nature of the case.
In many kinds of cases, malice must be found to exist in order to convict (for example "malice aforethought" is an element of the crime of murder in many jurisdictions). In civil law cases, a finding of malice allows for the award of greater damages, or for punitive damages. The legal concept of malice is most common in Anglo-American law, and in legal systems derived from the English common law system.
- Cal. Pen. Code §188.