Ignorance is no excuse

Ignorance (of the law) is no excuse (for breaking it).

Prov. Even if you do not know that something is against the law, you can still be punished for doing it. (An ancient legal principle.) Police officer: I'm giving you a speeding ticket. Motorist: But I didn't know I was exceeding the speed limit! Police officer: Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it. Terry protested that he didn't know it was illegal to break the windows of an abandoned building, but the judge informed him that ignorance of the law was no excuse.
See also: excuse, ignorance, no
References in periodicals archive ?
Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law, a clear statement that we all have to live by.
I know that ignorance is no excuse for that behaviour [but] it was ignorance rather than an attempt to laugh at indigenous Australians," the paper quoted him, as saying.
As much as people say ignorance is no excuse, ignorance is an excuse.
I accept you thought the boy was older, especially as you met him in a pub - but ignorance is no excuse.
THE law is very black and white in cases like this and I'm afraid ignorance is no excuse.
There's more dental education available than ever these days so ignorance is no excuse.