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80 terms

[cerrabeth] crim law

General Criminal Law Requirements
Actus Reus (voluntary act or omission)
Mens Rea (guilty mind)
--> link btwn act and mind
Causation (D caused crime)
Strict Liability General Requirements
Actus Reus
(no mens rea needed)
Actus Reus
a physical and voluntary act (not sleeping walking / unconscious / on mind-altering substance)
OR omission
not fulfilling a LEGAL DUTY to ACT
Legal Duties to Act arise under...
- Contract (life guard)
- Special Relationship
- Imposed by statute
- Voluntary Undertaking turns detrimental
- D caused V's peril even if no intent (i hit you by accient and you fall into the pool)
1. MUST HAVE KNOWLEDGE of FACTS giving rise to duty
to act / 2. must be REASONABLY POSSIBLE to act (3. failure to act)
Mens Rea (generally)
guilty mind // AT THE SAME TIME as Actus Reus
Mens Rea For Specific Intent Crimes
SPECIFIC desire, objective, or knowledge to
ACCOMPLISH a prohibited
The Specific Intent Crimes
- First degree murder
- Inchoate offenses (attempt, solicitation, conspiracy)
- Assault with intent to commit battery;
- Theft offenses (larceny, larceny by trick, false pretense, embezzlement, forgery, burglary, robbery)
Mens Rea for Malice Crimes
a reckless disregard of a substantial/high risk of harm // NOT a specific intent crime // ie, CL murder, arson
The Malice Crimes
- Common Law Murder (and more)
- Arson
strict liability crime & mens rea
- no mens rea needed for these. statutory crimes: selling bad food / statutory rape
- NOTE RE: CORPS: in CL, corps can't form intent. so on MBE, corp can only be liable if there is a statutory basis for that liability
((MPC - Mens Rea not stated
established if the defendant acted purposely,knowingly, or recklessly
((Mens Rea: Strict Liability Crimes
Public Welfare Offenses are Strict Liability
((Public Welfare Offense
conduct subject to stringent public regulation which is inherently dangerous or could seriously threaten public health or safety
((Degree of Penalty and Strict Liability
Severe penalties usually require intent.
Strict Liability may be inferred from unclear small penalty crimes.
((Vicarious Liability
Requires Mens Rea, but not Actus Reus by D
Regulatory crimes, fines only
((Corporate Criminal Liability
AGENT of the corporation, acting within the
SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT or acts performed by
CORPORATE EXECUTIVES representing corporate POLICY
the criminal act must occur as a result of the intent
Types of Mistake as a Defense
Mistake of Fact
Mistake of Law
Mistake of Fact: Strict Liability
NEVER a defense
Mistake of Fact: Specific Intent
look to see if the mistake negates the D's required mens rea. does NOT need to be reasonable mistake. ex: taking blue laptop by mistake instead of pink. not mens rea for theft.
Mistake of Law
- reliance on an interpretation later deemed wrong
- statute defining a malum prohibitum crim without reasonable notice
- an honestly held mistake of law negates the INTENT (belief of ownership)
the killing of another human being
--> on MBE will usually have to choose among various types of homicide (ie, what is the most this D can be charged w/)
homicide raises issues of:
causation: D must be but-for & proximate cause of death
homicide & causation:
need both:
1. ACTUAL CAUSATION. V would not have died but-for the D's act.
2. PROXIMATE. death must have been a foreseeable result of the D's conduct. // pre-existing condition does not break the chain of causation (ie, condition that makes D bleed profusely and die. still liable)
homicide offenses (MBE)
1. murder
2. voluntary manslauger
3. involuntary manslaughter
4 mental states qualify as MURDER on MBE
1. intent to kill (ie, using deadly weapon)
2. intent to inflict serious bodily harm (i hit you w/ brass knuckles intending to send you to hospital; die; guilty of murder)
3. depraved heart killing / callous disregard (drop bowling ball from overpass)
4. felony murder (BARRK): if while commiting or attempting to commit BAARK, and someone dies, felony murder
Burlary / Arson / Robber / Rape / Kidnapping
- a homicide committed in response to adequate provocation (HOP).
what is "adequate provocation"?
must have one of these + no cooling period:
1. D facing threat of serious battery
2. D responding to deadly force
3. D's discovery of spouse in act of adultery
(words not enough)
murder --> involuntary manslaughter
-- imperfect self-D: A D who cannot claim self D b/c he made an honest but unreasonable mistake OR b/c he was the initial aggressor can mitigate murder --> involuntary manslaughter
-- someone commits crime falling short of depraved heart. ie, drunk driving
1. larceny
2. embezzlement &
3. false pretenses
LARCENY elements
1. trespassory taking (no consent on owner) (larceny by trick = if prop obtained by lying)
2. carrying away (of prop) --> slightest movement suffices (if put it back, still was larceny when took it)
3. of the personal prop (not real prop / not failure to pay for services)
4. of another (not abandoned)
5. with the INTENT to permanently deprive that person of hte prop (intent must be at time of taking)
1. fraudulent
2. conversion (sig interference w/ interest w/ owner's rights. damaging / taking...) (Note: no need to carry away)
3. of the property
4. of another
5. by a person who is already in lawful possession of the property (v larceny -- not already in lawful possession)
1. obtaining title to prop (not just possession)
2. of another person
3. through reliance of that person
4. on a known false representation of a material past or present fact (NOT re: future)
5. where representation is made w/ intent to defraud
(ie, lying about the degas that is worth millions)
false pretense v. larceny by trick
false pretense: D obtains title by lying
larceny by trick: D obtains possession by lying
*on mbe, false pretense usually wrong answer b/c title does not usually pass
1. robbery
2. burglary
3. receipt of stolen property
ROBBERY - elements
1. larceny (all elements)
2. force or intimidation
3. taking of prop must be from the person or in presence of V
(ie, taking wallet when V not looking --> larceny not robbery)
(ie, taking wallet, V sees, and you kick V --> robbery)
BURGLARY - elements
1. a breaking (opening window; NOT going through open door; NO consent; if consent; not breaking)
2. and entering (go in to where item is)
3. of the dwelling (where someone lives)
4. of another
5. at night
6. w/ specific intent to commit a felony therein (MUST have this intent WHEN D enters; not later)
burglary and merger?
NOTE: D can be charged with burglary and w/ the felon y that is ultimately committed. they do not merge
(ie, burglarly, then once inside, larceny. can be charged w/ both)
1. D must receive stolen property
2. w/ knowledge that the prop is stole (must know AT TIME he receives it) &
3. w/ intent to permanently deprive owner
BATTERY - elements
1. unlawful
2. application of force
3. to another person
4. that causes bodily harm to that person OR constitutes an offensive touching
(doesn't take much -- any touching w/ intent or subs risk)
ASSAULT - elements
1. attempt of a battery or
2. intentionally placing another in apprehension of imminent bodily harm
NOTE: requires INTENT (to batter or app); recklessness not enough
RAPE - elements
1. unlawful
2. sexual intercourse
3. w a female who is not one's wife
4. against her will by force or threat
--> modern Js: do not require force; need lack of consent
KIDNAPPING - elements
1. unlawful
2. confinement of a person
3. against that person's will
4. coupled w/ either the (movement) or (hiding) of that person
--> movement must be MORE than change of location that is incidental to another crime
1. unlawful
2. confinement of a person
3. without consent
NOTE: diff btwn this and kidnapping is that kidnapping requires person to move or secreted (hidden)
ARSON - elements
1. malicious
2. burnding
3. of the dwelling
4. of another
-- no need for specific intent: if D creates a subs risk of burning, that's enough
-- on mbe, be on lookout for burning non-dwelling (right answer may be arson even though didn't say that defn expanded by statute)
- means: crime does not need to be completed for D to be guilty of crime
- solicitation / conspiracy / attempt
1. enticing, encouraging, or advising of another person
2. to commit a crime
3. w/ intent that other person commits the crime
- irrelevant if the person does not commit crime (ie, i will give you a brownie if you throw her trombone in the lake)
- at CL, renunciation by D is no defense (ie, don't do that!)
- if group protected by statute, can't be guilty of solicitation. ie, 12 yo asks you to have sex with them. you are 21. 12 yo not guilty of solicitation)
CONSPIRACY - CL elements
1. agreement
2. between 2 or more persons (not unilateral agrmt)
-- on mbe look for person who lacks capacity to consent (that is unilateral agrmt, not conspiracy) // also, if 2 charged w/ agrmt and one acquitted, other must also be acquitted b/c can't have conspiracy by yourself
3. to accomplish an unlawful purpose
4. w intent to accomplish that purpose
(NO need for overt act in furtherance of agrmt)
1. UNILATERAL AGRMT OKAY. /// D can be charged w/ conspiracy as long as the D agrees with other person REGARDLESS of whether the other person is feigning agrmt as undercover agent or lacks capacity to consent (ie, unilater agrmt enough) // MBE should tell you whether MPC or CL approach
CONSPIRACY - majority Js require
1. an OVERT ACT: some actin furtherance of the conspiracty.
-- on mbe, examiner needs to say that majority approach being followed otherwise there is no overt act requirement
conspiracy & affirmative defense?
- at CL, withdrawal was not a defense
- NY: yes if subst effort to prevent
scope of conspiracy? conspiracy and unplanned crimes:
on mbe, conspirators are liable for addl unplanned crimes if they:
1. are in futherance of the conspiracy and
2. are reasonably foreseeable
(raping someone on a bank robbery, not foreseeable. shooting someone is)
ATTEMPT - elements
1. D with specific intent (to commit the crime)
-->note: attempt is a specific intent crime, so need to have the specific intent to commit the crime even if the crime itself does not need specific intent
2. D who engaged in a subst step towards the commission of the crime (needs to be an overt act; not just talking)
- if the D attempts what he thinks is a crime, but it is not in fact a crime, there is no criminal liability
- ex: i try to burn down my own house. i fail. not attempted arson b/c CL arson -- can't burn down your own house. i'm guilty of nothing
- if the D fails to commit a rime b/c it was factually impossible, he can still be criminally liable for attempt
- ex: sally thinks harry has a peanut allergy that can kill him. she bakes a peanut cake hoping will kill him. harry is in fact not allergic to peanuts. she can still be prosecuted for attempted murder
prosecuting for attempt
- if not completed crime, can only be charged with attempted X
- if complete, then prosecute for EITHER attempt or completed crime (not both!)
rule of MERGER
if a crime is completed and D charged with underlying offense, --> cannot also charge w/ soliciation or attempt.
--> CAN be charged w/ separate crimes of a. conspiracy & b. what the conspiracy was to do (underlying crime of the conspiracy)
following people can be charged w/ underlying substantive crime (even w/out conspiracy)
1. principal: the person's whose acts or omissions form the actus reus of the crime: AND
2. accomplice: one who assists or encourages (act) the crime AND provides the assistance w/ the intent of aiding or encouraging the crime (mens rea).
what would accomplice be charged w/
the accomplice would be charged with the UNDERLYING crime. if principal acquitted, accomplice must also be acquitted
note re: aiding and abetting
though selling someone a product ultimately used in a crime not enough to be aider/abettor; selling someone at a grossly inflated priced then used in a crime can infer intent that this person is an aider/abettor
accomplice defense: withdrawal
to withdraw & avoid liability for the substantive crime, the accomplice must:
1. repudiate the prior aid (refused to be assoc w/)
2. do all that is possible to counter that prior assistance (stop it from happening)
3. do so before chain of events set in motion
accomplice withdraw v. conspiracy withdrawal
- conspiracy: no withdrawal
- accomplice liability: withdrawal possible
- if help is provide AFTER the crime has occurred, and individ cannot be liable for that crime but may be charged w/ obstruction (a separate offense)
excuse of INSANITY
affirmative defense; 4 tests:
1. m'naghten test
2. irresistible impulse test
3. durham rule
4. MPC test
(insanity) M'NAGHTEN TEST
(right from wrong test): because of
1. the defect of reason due to mental disease
2. the D either did know a) the nature and quality of the act (ie, i think i am cutting a tree, but really, a person) OR b) the wrongfulness of the act
1. mental disease or defect
2. prevented D from being able to conform his conduct to the law
(insanity) DURHAM RULE
(but-for test) unlawful act was product of
1. mental disease or defect and
2. act would not have been committed but-for mental disease/defect (if not, D will not be guilty)
(insanity) MPC TEST
1. as a result of mental disease/defect
2. D did not have subt capacity a) to appreciate the wrongfulness of the act OR b) to conform conduct to the law
excuse of INTOXICATION (voluntary)
voluntary intoxication
--> MAY be a defesne to a specific intent crime where it prevents D from forming the relevant intent
--> NOT a defense to general intent crimes that require malice, recklessness, or negligence
excuse of INTOXICATION (INvoluntary)
involuntary intoxication is a defense to ANY crime where the intoxication serves to negate an element of the crime. must show that intoxication occurred either
1. w/out the knowledge of the intoxicating nature of the substance (thought it was water / vodka b/c no taste buds) OR
2. under duress (someone threatens to kill you unless you take this)
excuse of INFANCY
- under 7: can't be convicted of a crime
- 7 - under14: rebuttable presumption incapable of committing crime
- 14+: tried as an adult
include: self-d, defense of prop, duress, necessity, entrapment
SELF-DEFENSE - elements
1. D must be resisiting immediate or imminent unlawful harm to himself
2. force must be reasonable (no more than nec to repel the attack)
3. D cannot be the initial aggressor (looking for physical aggression, not larceny)
4. no duty to retreat at CL
5. IF DEADLY FORCE (force intended to cause death / serious bodily injury), can only use if it is a) reasonably nec to prevent death or serious injury or b) to prevent the commission of a serious felony
- can use non-deadly force
defense of DURESS - elements
if D performs a crime b/c of
1. third party's unlawful threat against D which causes
2. a D to reasonably believe that the only way to avoid
3. death or serious bodily injury to himself or another
4. is to violate the law and causes the D to do so
(then can claim defense of duress)
- HOWEVER, never a defense to an intentional murder
defense of NECESSITY
if forces of nature (eg, storm, fire) cause the D to commit what would otherwise be a crime, the D may be justified in doing so based upon necessity
necessity v. duress
- duress: results from human action
- necessity: result of natural forces
defense of ENTRAPMENT
- defn: when law enforcement induces someone to commit a crime. action induced by a private citizen does NOT raise the issue of entrapment
- MAJORITY RULE: D must show that 1. crime was induced by a govt official or agent and 2. the D was no pre-disposed to commit the crime