Yes, negligence can evidence mens rea, but it has to be intentional negligence and the individual must have reasonable expectation that their actions could result in the death of someone.
Until many states changed their laws, DWI did not even constitute intentional negligence; now, it’s an aggravating factor.
Blowing a stop sign, while a violation of motor vehicle code, might not evince the intent level, while doing 120 on a highway (something that may reasonably cause a fatal accident) might expose the individual to prosecution.
Failure to follow GAAP is not criminal, except for reporting in public companies; if it was, a majority of small business owners would be in prison.
You are correct that repetition is not necessary, but goes a long way in proving the perpetrator’s intent. There’s nothing that says first-time bank robbers can’t be arrested, convicted and jailed.
I have a good friend who was convicted of manslaughter because the crew his pool store had installing did not regularly construct shoring walls, and a collapse killed a worker.
Intent can be indicated by many things. More than a few federal money laundering and tax fraud cases turned on the perpetrators ‘shaping deposits’ (depositing an amount just short of the $10,000 limit) evidencing the individual’s knowledge of the law and intent to circumvent it.
The engineering example also requires intentional negligence (I started school as a mechanical engineering major); the engineer must have known better, and intentionally done (or omitted) something that a reasonable person could expect would cause grave hazard. That’s why successful prosecutions of engineers are relatively rare, and why getting a PEs (Professional Engineer’s) license is so hard. Note that certain structures require PE’s approval, and the PE’s stamp is attesting that certain standards of analyses, particularly those around safety, have been met.
TX Penal Code, Title 7, §31.04 qualifies theft of service as requiring “intent to avoid payment”, then lists a series of four (4) overt acts. Again, the overt act is required to evidence the perpetrator’s intent. The alternative, which must be indicated in the statute for certain acts, is strict liability, defined as when a defendant is liable for committing an action, regardless of what his/her intent or mental state was when committing the action
This is not to say that some of these agencies aren’t doing something that’s criminal by defrauding notaries regularly; there are bad actors in every industry.
One can demand that the police take a report for virtually any incident (although, I’d be careful to be respectful about it). A prosecutor will only pursue those cases where they can show all elements of the crime.
Sorry to be so longwinded. The purpose of this forum is to inform and educate. I try to do that to the best extent I can.
Hope this is useful to whoever takes the time to read it.