69 terms

Criminal Law MEC

Essential elements of crimes
act, mental state, causation, concurrence
Specific crimes
crime against person & crime against property
liability for the conduct of others
accomplice liability
Inchoate offenses
attempt, solicitation, conspiracy
Voluntary intoxication
crime may be prosecuted in any state where an act that was a part of the crime took place or where the result took place
Burden of proof
prosecution must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt
a crime that may be punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year
crime punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for no more than one year
Act requirement
commissions (physical acts) or omissions (failure to act)
Physical act

ones that aren't voluntary: sleepwalking or otherwise unconscious conduct; a reflex or convulsion
failure to act can provide basis for criminal liability if 3 requirements are satisfied.
1. Legal Duty to Act
a. by statute
b. contract
c. by the status relationship btwn D and the victim
-- parent/child
-- spouse/spouse
d. By voluntary assumption of care (start rescue have duty to follow through)
e. by creation of the peril (D caused the problem initially, D has a duty to help)

2. you need knowledge of the facts giving rise to the duty;

3. Third, you need ability to help
Common Law Mental States
Specific intent
General intent
Strict liability
Specific intent crimes
Specific intent: requires not just the desire to do the act, but also the desire to achieve a specific result
Crimes with specific intent:
1. Assault
2. 1st degree premeditated murder
3. Larceny
4. Embezzlement
5. False Pretenses
6. Robbery
7. Forgery
8. Burglary
9. Solicitation
10. Conspiracy
11. Attempt

- Voluntary intoxication
- an unreasonable mistake of fact
D acts intentionally or with reckless disregard of an obvious or known risk

General Intent
D need only be generally aware of the factors constituting; he need not intend a specific result

Forcible rape
False imprisonment
Strict Liability
when the crime requires simply doing the act; no mental state is needed

2 types:
1. Public welfare offenses: regulatory offenses that implicate public health or safety and typically carry small penalties
2. Statutory rape
MPC mental states
1. Purpose - conscious desire to accomplish a particular result (what D wants to do)
2. Knowing - D is aware of what he is doing. D is aware that it is practically certain his conduct will cause that result
3. Recklessness - D is aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk, and consciously disregard that risk
4. Negligence - D should've been aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk
5. Strict liability
2 types:
1. Actual (but for) causation - D is an actual cause if the bad result would not have happened but for the D's conduct
--exception - accelerating cause is an actual clause

2. Proximate cause - a D is a proximate cause if the bad result is a natural probable consequence of the D's conduct
-- intervening causes: D will not be considered a proximate cause if an unforeseeable intervening event causes the bad result
-- Eggshell Victims: D will be considered a proximate cause even if the victim's preexisting weakness contributed to the bad result
Concurrence principle
D must have the required mental state at the same time as he engages in the culpable act
unlawful application of force to another resulting in either bodily injury or an offensive touching

general intent
2 kinds:
1) attempted batter (swing and a miss)
2) the intentional creation other than by mere words of a reasonable fear in the mind of the victim of imminent bodily harm

Specific intent
The year and a day rule
NC: death may occur at any time
CL: death must occur within a year and a day of the homicidal act
causing the death of another person with malice aforethought

mental state satisfied when:
1. intent to kill (intentional use of a deadly weapon; transferred intent from intended victim to actual victim)
2. inent to inflict serious bodily harm
3. Extreme recklessness = reckless indifference to human life (i.e. depraved heart murder)
4. intentional commission of an inherently dangerous felony (felony murder)
Statutory variation - 1st degree murder
NC has created 3 categories of murder:
-any killing committed with premeditation and deliberation)
- any killing perpetrated by means of poison or torture or a weapon of mass destruction
- Felony murder
Felony murder
Any killing caused during the commission of or attempt to commit a felony

Most common limits on felony murder:
-D must be guilty of the underlying felony (a defense to the felony is a defense to felony murder)
NC: independent proof of the felony is unnecessary when the D has confessed to the murder and there are sufficient facts to support the existence of the felony

-felony must be inherently dangerous - MBE has enumerated felonies - NC does NOT
--BARRK - burglary, arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping

- the merger rule: felony use be independent of the killing

-killing must take place during the felony or during immediate flight from the felony - temporary safety cuts off felony

-death must be foreseeable
-victim must not be a co-felon
felony murder vicarious liability
Proximate cause theory: if one of the co-felons proximately causes the victim's death, all of the other co-felons will be guilty of felony murder, even if the actual killing is committed by a 3d party

Agency theory followed in NC: the felony murder doctrine only applies if the killing is committed by one of the co-felons
Voluntary manslaughter
an intentional killing committed in the heat of passion upon adequate provocation
4 requirements must be satisfied:
1. provocation was objectively adequate (arouse a sudden & intense passion in the mind of a reasonable person)
examples of adequate provocation: serious assault or batter; presently witnessed adultery; unlawful restraint - words alone are not enough
2. D was actually provoked
3. D did not have time to cool off
4. D did not actually between the provocation and the killing
Involuntary manslaughter
2 types:
1. killing committed with criminal negligence (gross deviation from a reasonable std of care); or
2. killing committed during the commission of a crime to which the felony murder doctrine does not apply
False imprisonment
unlawful confinement of a person without his or her consent

general intent
false imprisonment that involves either moving the victim or concealing the victim in a secret place

general intent

NC: specific intent crime; requires confinement, restraint or removal of an individual for the purpose of:
-collecting ransom
- using the victim as a hostage or shield
- facilitating the commission of, or flight from, a felony
-inflicting serious bodily harm
-holding the victim in involuntary servitude
Forcible rape
sexual intercourse without the victims consent accomplished by force or by threat or when the victim is unconscious

general intent
statutory rape
sexual intercourse with someone under the age of consent

Strict liability

MPC/minority= a reasonable mistake of age is a defense
"Theives Took Carmen's Purse And Isaac's Portfolio"

TRESPASSORY (wrongful or unlawful)
TAKING and (moved)
CARRYING away the
PERSONAL property
of ANOTHER, with the
PERMANENTLY retain the property (if D plans on giving the property back, the taking isn't larceny)
The erroneous takings rule
a taking under a claim of right is never larceny, even if the D erroneously believes the property is his
conversion of the person property of another by a person already in lawful possession of that property, with the intent to defraud

Specific intent to defraud

Possession is more than mere custody
False pretenses
obtaining title to the personal property of another by an intentional false statement, with the intent to defraud

D gets title, meaning ownership

False statement must be of a present or past event
Larceny by trick
if the D only obtains custody (not title) as a result of the intentional false statement

NC: passage of title is not required for false pretenses therefore false pretenses and larceny by trick are the same thing
a larceny from another's person or presence by force or threat of immediate injury

Specific intent to steal
Armed robbery in NC
"Tarheels Pray For Duke's Elimination"

TAKING, or attempting to take
the PERSONAL property of another
by FORCE or threat of force
with a DEADLY weapon
used to ENDANGER the life of the victim
Making or altering a writing so that it is false

Specific intent to defraud
CL: breaking and entering the dwelling of another at night with the intent to commute a felony inside

Specific intent

NC: same as CL except dwelling is now "any building"
malicious burning of a building (charring) - must be building itself that burns

Possession of contraband
when a statute criminalizes the possession of contraband - close enough to exercise dominion and control = constructive possession

Receipt of stolen property
Act: receiving possession and control of stolen personal property

MS: knowing that the property has been obtained criminally by another party; and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his interest in the property
Accomplice liability
principal - person who commits crime

accomplice - person who helps
act + MS: aids or encourages the principal, with the intent that the crime be committed

Scope: accomplice guilty of all crimes that he aids or encourages and all other foreseeable crimes committed along with the aided crime

- mere presence, mere presence, victims do not = accomplice

withdrawal: must be done before the crime is committed:
if he encourages he must repudiate the encouragement before the crime is committed

if he aided he must either neutralize the assistance or otherwise prevent the crime from happening
NC accomplice liability
if accomplice aided or encouraged they must renounce the "common purpose" and tell others that he has done so and that he does not intent to participate further
Accessory after the fact
to commit a separate common law offense of being an accessory after the fact a D must:
help a principal who has committed a felony with knowledge that the crime has been committed, and with the intent to help the principal avoid arrest or conviction
asking someone to commit a crime, with the specific intent that the crime be committed

crime is in the asking
an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime, plus an overt act in furtherance of the crime; preparation is enough

NC: requires only an agreement, no overt act necessary

Specific intent to do 2 things:
1. enter into an agreement to
2. accomplish objectives

CL: need 2+ people
MPC: one is enough
Vicarious "pinkerton" liability
D will be liable for other crimes committed by his co-conspirators, so long as those crimes were committed in furtherance of the conspiracy's objective, and were foreseeable

-impossibility is never a defense
overt act beyond mere preparation

NC: proximity test - conduct that gets dangerously close to the commission of the crime

Majority/MPC: substantial step test - substantial step towards the commission of the crime, provided that conduct strongly corroborates the actor's criminal purpose

Specific intent to commit underlying crime
factual - even though D intends to commit crime some physical or factual condition unknown to the D prevents the underlying crime from taking place
- never a defense to attempt

Legal - legal circumstance or status unknown to the D prevents the successful completion of the underlying crime
-is a defense to attempt
- withdrawal is not a defense-
Exception: once D withdraws from conspiracy he will not be vicariously liable for crimes committed by his co-conspirators after he left the conspiracy
Defense: insanity
D must have a mental disease or defect
3 most common tests:
1. M'Naghten Test - majority and NC - d must prove he either did not know that his conduct was wrong or did not understand the nature of this conduct
2. irresistible impulse test - D was unable to control his actions, or was unable to conform his conduct to the law
3. MPC test (cognitive and volitional) - D lacked the substantial capacity to either appreciate the criminality of his conduct, or conform his conduct to the requirements of the law

D must be insane at time of the crime to be found not guilty
at time of trial, D cannot either understand the nature of the proceedings against him; or assist his lawyer in the preparation of his defense

trial will be postponed until D regains competency if ever
Voluntary intoxication
can be a defense to specific intent onl
Common law/NC rule of sevens:
1) if at time of crime, D's age is less than 7, prosecution is not allowed
2) if at time of crime, D's age is less than 14, there is a rebuttable presumption against prosecution
3) if at time of crime, D is 14 or older, prosecution is allowed

NC: district courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over any case involving a person who has committed a crime when he or she is under 18
Mistake of fact
mistake of fact: whether D's mistake of fact will be a defense depends upon the mental state for the crime and whether the mistake is reasonable or unreasonable

reasonable mistake will be a defense to any crime except strict liability

unreasonable mistake will be a defense to only specific intent crime

D's mistake of fact is relevant to criminal responsibility only if it shows that the D did not have the requisite mental state for the crime
Mistake of Law
mistake of law generally not a defense
exception: if statute specifically makes knowledge of the law an element of the crime
Self-defense (justification)
A D may use non deadly force in self defense if it is reasonably necessary to protect against an immediate use of unlawful force against himself

A D may use deadly force in self defense if he is facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm
2 additional complications:
1) D cannot be initial aggressor but right to use deadly force if he withdraws from fight and communicates the withdrawal to the other person or if the victim suddenly escalates a non-deadly fight into a deadly one
2) Retreat rule: in majority/NC no retreat required

NC- except when confronted with a non felonious assault - have to retreat if possible before you use deadly force

Minority: retreat required unless: D can't retreat in complete safety; or D is in his own home
Initial aggression and self-defense in NC
a D who didn't have murderous intent, initiates an altercation that results in the death of the other person is guilty of manslaughter, if D reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to repel a threat of death or serious bodily harm

"imperfect self-defense"
-Mitigates, doesn't exonerate
Reasonable mistake
complete defense

NC: imperfect self-defense
Unreasonable mistake
Majority/NC: no defense
Minority: mitigate but not exonerate
Use of force to prevent a crime
nondeadly force may be used, if reasonably necessary, to prevent any serious breach of the peace

Deadly force may only be used to prevent a felony risking human life

Defense of others to protect others in same way as he could use it to defend himself

defense of property: deadly force not not be used to defend property; it can be used however if an intruder has gained entry in a violent manner; and the occupant reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent a personal attack on herself or someone else in the dwelling
Use of delay force by law enforcement
officer may use deadly force only when doing so is reasonable under the circumstances
Necessity "choice of evils"
it is a defense to criminal conduct if the D reasonably believes that the conduct was necessary to prevent a greater harm

D of necessity is unavailable if: D causes the death of another person to protect property; or D is at fault in creating a situation that create a choice of evils
its a defense if the D was coerced to commit a crime because of a threat from another person, of imminent death or serious bodily injury to himself or a close family member
- duress cannot be a defense to homicide
if the gov't unfairly tempted the D to commit the crime, he may claim entrapment if:
1) criminal design originated with the gov't, and
2) the defendant was not predisposed to commit the crime

NC: D can show that he would not have committed to offense but for police misrepresentation, trickery, persuasion or fraud