Chapter 9 (Criminal Law)

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Chapter 9 Criminal Law and Cyber Crime

Crime

A wrong against society that is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment, or in certain cases, the death penalty.
In criminal law, a case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
2 key elements of a crime: 1.) The performance of a prohibited act and 2.) A specified state of mind, or intent.

actus reus

A guilty (prohibited) act
Part of what is required to establish criminal liability

mens rea

A wrongful mental state
Part of what is required to establish criminal liability

Types of crimes

Violent crime - Crime that causes others to suffer harm or death.
Property crime - Crime in which the goal is some form of economic gain or the damaging of property; the most common form of crime.
White-collar crime - An illegal act or series of acts committed by an individual or business entity using some nonviolent means to obtain a personal or business advantage; usually committed in the course of a legitimate occupation.
Organized crime - Form of crime conducted by groups operating illegitimately to satisfy the public's demand for illegal goods and services.

Robbery

A violent crime.
The act of taking money, personal property, or any other article of value from a person by means of force or fear.

Burglary

A property crime.
The act of breaking and entering the dwelling of another with attempt to commit a felony.

Larceny

A property crime.
The unlawful taking and carrying away of someone else's personal property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the possession. Stealing or theft that does Not involve force or fear.
Example of larceny: pick-pocketing

Arson

A property crime.
The willing and malicious burning of a building owned by another.

Receiving stolen goods

A property crime.
The reception of stolen goods.

Forgery

A property crime.
The fraudulent making or altering of any writing (including electronic records) in a way that changes the legal rights and liabilities of another.
Examples: falsifying public records, counterfeiting, etc.

Embezzlement

A white-collar crime.
When a person entrusted with another person's property or funds fraudulently appropriates that property or those funds.

Mail and Wire Fraud

A white-collar crime.
Using mail or wire, radio, or television transmissions to defraud the public.

Bribery

A white-collar crime.
Offering to give something of value to a person in an attempt to influence that person to act in a way that serves a private interest.
Crime of bribery occurs when the bribe is offered.
Accepting a bribe is a separate crime.

Insider Trading

A white-collar crime.
An individual who obtains "inside information" about the plans of a publicly listed corporation and then uses the information to buy or sell corporate securities and/or disclosing the information to outsiders.

Money laundering

An organized crime.
Falsely reporting income that has been obtained through criminal activity as income obtained through a legitimate business enterprise.
Transfer of illegal money through legitimate businesses.

Justifiable use of force

Self-defense. Amount of non-deadly force that seems necessary to protect themselves, their dwellings, or other property, or to prevent the commission of a crime.

Insanity

A person who suffers from a mental illness may be incapable of the state of mind required to commit a crime.
Insanity may be a defense to a criminal charge

Mistake

A mistake of fact that can excuse criminal responsibilities if it negates the mental state necessary to commit a crime.
Example: Wheaton walks off with Tyson's suitcase because he thought that it was his.

Duress

Occurs when the wrongful threat of one person induces another person to perform an act that he or she would not otherwise have performed.

Statute of limitations

The state must initiate criminal prosecution within a certain number of years. If a criminal action is brought after the statutory time period has expired, the accused person can raise the statute of limitations as a defense.

Immunity

Status of being free from certain duties or requirements.
Immunity from prosecution or a lesser offense - if the accused person agrees to give the state information that would assist the state in prosecuting other individuals for crimes.

Plea bargaining

Process by which a criminal defendant and the prosecutor in a criminal case work out a mutually satisfactory disposition of the case, subject to court approval.

Criminal procedures

Protection of the constitutional rights of individuals.
Use of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment.
See page 187 and 188.

Exclusionary rule

Any evidence obtained in violation of the constitutional rights spelled out in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendment generally is not admissible at trial. Such evidence is normally excluded from the trial proceedings.

Miranda rule

Famous rule from a landmark case decision in the US Supreme Court.
Right to remain silent, Anything said can be used against you in a court of law, Right to an attorney, Court will provide an attorney if needed, Right to a fair trial.

Criminal Process

Steps in a criminal prosecution. Designed to safeguard the rights of an individual against the state.
3 phases of the criminal process: Arrest, Indictment, and Trial

Arrest

There must be existence of probable cause to believe that the individual in question committed the crime before an arrest can be made.

Indictment

A written document issued by the grand jury to formally charge the defendant with a crime.

Trial

Proof of burden is on the prosecutor (the state).
Proof of burden must be beyond a reasonable doubt.
If any reasonable doubt exists, the verdict must be "not guilty".

Cyber crime

Any criminal activity that occurs over a computer or over the Internet.
Examples: cyber fraud, identity theft, etc.

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