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Criminal Law Vocabulary
Terms in this set (50)
demonstrable expression of intent to commit the crime
a failure to act that is punishable ONLY where D has a legal duty to act
involves a situation in which the actor is at some remove from the item; combines the power and intention to control as the ability to exercise
to exercise physical dominion and control over the item
a result of mental diseases and defects that render persons unable to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirement of the law.
manifests itself in the performance of involuntary acts
the law may not punish for who he is, but only for what he does
there must be a law in existence defining the actor's conduct as a crime
Elements of the act requirement
1. a criminal act exists
2. act must cause or threaten harm
3. act must be voluntary
4. act not status punishment
5. legality of act
if persons of common intelligence must necessary guess at its meaning and differ to its application
the absence of innocence, rather than some affirmative pre- defined state of mind.
conduct is this if he is aware of such circumstances or hopes they exist and it is his conscious objective to cause such a result.
conduct is this if he is aware that such circumstances exist and he is aware that it is practically certain that his conduct will cause such a result.
conduct is this is he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists and will result from his conduct.
conduct is this if he is consciously aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists and will result from his conduct.
the intent to act - Not necessary to show that actor intended any particular result or acted with any particular purpose. "maliciously" "feloniously" "unlawfully"
It is an added phrase beyond the intent to do the act that usually makes the crime more serious. "with intent to" "with knowledge that" "intentionally" "purposely"
criminal punishment without proof of a culpable mental state; regulatory in nature; small penalty; Does not sweep within its coverage a broad range of apparently innocent conduct
mistake of law
Ignorant about a law or mistaken about whether the law reaches your conduct
mistake of fact
unaware of some fact, must be honest and reasonable
Default rule 2.02 subsection 4
when there is a mens rea statement in the statute, it applies to all elements, unless it is made clear by the legislature that it does not
Default Rule 2.02 subsection 3
if the statute is not one of strict liability; if the mental state is not subscribed in the statute, it is presumed to be knowingly, recklessly, and purposely, but it is NOT negligently
rule that deprives an individual of expert psychiatric testimony to disprove the mens rea. That can only be used or channeled to the defense of insanity. The expert can only testify for observed evidence, cannot for mental illness evidence or capacity evidence.
limits of causation
but for causation, violent acts, foreseeability, intervening acts, and duties.
but for test
"But for the act of the defendant, the victim would not have died AT THE TIME THAT HE DID"
A determination that there be enough of a connection to hold the actor accountable
If an event occurs following a defendant's act that is unforeseeable and causes an injury, this may cut off the liability for the defendant's act. requires a defendant's action cause the injury and that the injury be reasonably foreseeable.
an event that occurs after a party's improper or dangerous action and before the damage that could otherwise have been caused by the dangerous act, thereby breaking the chain of causation between the original act and the harm to the injured person. The result is that the person who started the chain of events may no longer be considered responsible for damages to the injured person since the original action is no longer the proximate cause.
the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought
the intention to kill, inflict grievous bodily harm, the unintended killing that manifests an extreme indifference of the value of human life, the felony murder rule.
first degree murder
A purposeful killing committed with premeditation and deliberation
second degree murder
Committed on the spur of the moment, an impulsive killing done with a purpose to kill
Felony on which the use of the rule is based must be independent of the killing act so as not to "merge" into the killing
felony murder rule
if one causes the death of the victim out of the commission of a felony, that person is culpable of murder.
an unlawful killing without malice aforethought
heat of passion
must be sudden, the immediate reaction to an adequate provocation, not emotions built up over a prolonged period of provoking events. May be rekindled by some event that would not otherwise be sufficient after a cooling down from some adequate provocation
The unintended killing based on negligence or recklessness
The setting out but failing in the commission of a crime
dangerous proximity test
focused on how much harm is threatened by the successful completion of the crime and how close the perpetrator got - common law
An interrupted attempt, some physical fact, unknown to the actor that prevents the completion of the attempt. NOT a defense
pure legal impossibility
Actor may believe, mistakenly, that the act she committed was a criminal offense in that jurisdiction. NOT a defense.
hybrid legal impossibility
Actor actually believes he committed a crime but some fact of which he is unaware makes the conduct not a crime. Crime is impossible even upon completion.
Aiding and abetting the commission of a crime
the accomplice's liability depends on the offense by the principal
natural and probably consequence rule
Any other crimes committed leading up to and in immediate flight from the commission of the felony that are logically related to the offense for which he is an accomplice
a secret agreement by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
(MPC) all you need is one person agreeing with another can be found guilty of conspiracy
(Common law) in order to prove the conspiracy, you need to have an agreement between 2 or more persons
each conspirator may be liable for acts of every other conspirator done in furtherance of the conspiracy if it is foreseeable (minority rule)
A reasonable belief that it is necessary to use deadly force to prevent imminent bodily injury or death.
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