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Defenses (Criminal Law)
Terms in this set (22)
Mistake of Fact is a defense, but depends on whether the crime is a specific intent crime or general intent/malice crime.
The mistake of fact must negate the mens rea, so the rule makes sense.
Specific intent - even UNREASONABLE mistakes of fact
Malice or General Intent - REASONABLE mistakes of fact (i.e., they didn't act recklessly if it was reasonable)
Mistake of Fact - Tennessee
Same. For intentional or knowing crimes, the mistake can be unreasonable. For reckless or negligent crimes, the mistake must be reasonable.
Involuntary - of course
Voluntary - only specific intent crimes
Voluntary Intoxication - Tennessee
NOT A DEFENSE but it operates, for all practical purposes, as a defense. You can offer intoxication as EVIDENCE TO NEGATE the mens rea.
Non-Deadly Self-Defense is allowed ...
if the person reasonably believes they are in danger.
Deadly Force is allowed ...
if the person reasonably believes they are at imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death UNLESS FIRST AGRESSOR
Can the first agressor ever use deadly force?
Yes, if they withdraw by ABANDONING and COMMUNICATING ABANDONMENT. The other person becomes the initial aggressor if they start back.
Is retreat required before using deadly force?
Majority - No
Minority - Yes, unless in home.
TN follows the common law rules of self-defense with one exception. There is a presumption someone who used DEADLY force REASONABLY BELIEVED under imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death IF
deadly force used in home, business, or car.
Can deadly force be used in the home?
Yes and no duty to retreat, even under the minority rule. BUT focus on reasonable fear of serious bodily injury/death. No deadly force to defend property.
Deadly force to protect property?
NEVER. Only non-deadly force can be used to protect property. Further, make sure it's to PROTECT and not to retrieve property.
Insanity at common law
M'Naughten Rule: Did D know right from wrong?
Insanity - modern view
M'Naughten (know right from wrong)
they know right from wrong, but CANNOT CONTROL CONDUCT
Insanity - tennessee
Could D appreciate the wrongful nature of conduct? (Does D know right from wrong?)
Insanity is an affirmative defense. In Tennessee, defendant must prove the defense by what standard of proof?
Clear and convincing
D must be competent to STAND TRIAL. Competence to stand trial requires
(1) understanding the nature of the charges AND (2) D can assist in defense of the charges
Infancy defense - Rule of 7s (common law)
Under 7 - No liability
7 to 14 - Rebuttable presumption child CANNOT form mental state
Over 14 - treated as an adult
Infancy defense - Tennessee
UNDER 16 = Juvenile and NO CRIMINAL LIABILITY, only an ADJUDICATED DELINQUENT
16 to 18 = Juvenile court has original jurisdiction, but it can be transferred to criminal court
Infancy defense - Tennessee
Any way to avoid automatic juvenile status?
Yes, certain crimes allow discretion to transfer to criminal court regardless of age (murder, rape, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, etc)
Duress (common law and tennessee)
Crime committed under threat of IMMEDIATE DEATH or SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
Tennessee -- HARM AVOIDED > HARM INFLICTED/CRIME
Is duress a defense to all crimes?
NEVER a defense to HOMICIDE
Entrapment requires the defendant show two elements:
(1) Criminal plan which ORIGINATED WITH COPS and
(2) D NOT PRE-DISPOSED to commit the crime
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
General Principles (criminal law)
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