ignorance is no excuse

ignorance is no excuse

Someone cannot use their lack of knowledge as an excuse for doing something wrong or illegal. A: "Officer, I had no idea there was a curfew around here." B: "Well, ignorance is no excuse."
See also: excuse, ignorance, no

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.
"Ignorance is no excuse and working with Local Neighbourhood Partnerships to use these pavement stencils will help get the message across to dog owners that they must clean up after their dog immediately.
# THE law is very black and white in cases like this and I'm afraid ignorance is no excuse. It doesn't matter if it's a genuine mistake or not.
There's more dental education available than ever these days so ignorance is no excuse. I hope for Billy's sake that he won't have to wait too many years for his next teeth to come through.