Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Transferred Intent

Intent to commit a criminal or civil wrong against one person that instead harms a different person. In this situation, the intent necessary to convict or find the wrongdoer liable transfers from the intended act to the committed act. For example, someone who intends to shoot and kill one person, but misses and kills a bystander may be convicted of murder; the perpetrator had the necessary criminal intent even though he or she didn't intend to kill the bystander.