How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Fundamentals of Criminal Law

STUDY
PLAY
Morality and law
An act can be morally wrong but not criminally wrong
Mala in se
Crimes that are bad in and off themselves; morally and legally wrong
Treason
a threat to the existence of a nation
Felony
any crime for which the perpetrator could be compelled to forfeit property in addition to being subject to punishment through death, imprisonment or fine.
Misdemeanor
Commission of a crime that results in the forfeit of property
Enactment and Interpretation of the Statues
Statues must be written in a clear manner. Criminal law must be written with sufficient definitions so that the average person can understand what conduct is prohibited.
Ex Post Facto Laws
Laws that alter existing laws that may be deter mental to the rights of an accused person. law must always act to the benefit of the accused.
Repeal of Laws
The conduct must be criminal both at the time of the act and during the course of the preceding to punish the accused.
Municipal Ordinances
Enacted by city councils of commissions. Only affect the municipality. Punished by the city in its own name.
Corpus Delicti
It is the body of the crime. Every offense consists of specific elements, all of the elements must be present for a particular crime to be.
Proving felonious Homicide
Have to prove that a person existed and that the person is dead at the hands of a human agency. A body(victim) is not necessary. Proof can be direct or circumstantial.
What the state must prove
A criminal law has been violated. The violation was not the result of an accident or misfortune and was not self-inflicted. A human agency caused the violation. The defendant was the cause of the human violation.
Lesser and greater included offenses
Affect decisions as to what crimes are to be charged. What plea negotiations will take place. What instructions will be given to a jury. What impact decisions will have on the double jeopardy law. What verdicts might be rendered by a jury
Murder
The most serious offense that can be committed against the body of a human being. Lesser included charges; manslaughter, battery, and simple assault.
Prosecution Decisions
Depending on provable facts defendants can be charged with multiple offenses or provide the jury with alternatives. lesser included offenses may be used. Cannot charge a person with both murder and battery.