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PA Criminal Law PA BAR July 2021
Criminal law in PA according to themis for PA Bar July 2021
Terms in this set (40)
Accomplice defined.--A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense if:
(1) with the intent of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he:
(i) solicits such other person to commit it; or
(ii) aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it; or
(2) his conduct is expressly declared by law to establish his complicity.
Accomplice in PA mens rea
A person is an accomplice when he has the INTENT to promote or facilitate the commission of an offense
Accomplice in PA actus reus
-solicit another to commit an offense
-Aid/agree to aid/ attempt to aid in the planning or commission of an offense
- A person who acts with culpability (intent) sufficient for commission of the crime and cause an Innocent person to engage in illegal activity.
Withdrawal in Pa
In order to withdraw, a person must:
-Fully deprive of its effectiveness (make it not happen)
-Give timely warning to police; or
-make proper efforts to stop the offense
- the decision to withdraw MUST be voluntary
Accessories after the fact in PA
- However, PA makes it an independent crime to hinder apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another (probably called obstruction of justice?)
What test does PA follow for insanity?
a rule determing insanity, because of a mental disease, which asks whether the defendant knew what he or she was doing or whether the defendant knew what he or she was doing was wrong
- Defendant did not know EITHER:
1) Nature and quality of his act; or
2) The wrongfulness of his act (can be moral wrongfulness)
defense of diminished capacity
ONLY APPLIES in MURDER cases
Defendant has a mental disease that REDUCES his or her capacity to know the nature and quality or wrongfulness of the act, BUT DOES NOT fully amount to insanity
guilty but mentally ill in PA
MPC INSANITY RULE
- A defendant lacks substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his or her conduct, OR to conform his or her conduct to the law, there may be a guilty byt mentally ill finding
- Defendant is still guilty but will be treated for mental illness,
-- Once treated, subject to the same sentence as for a conviction
first degree murder
Intentional killing that MUST BE willful, deliberate, and premeditated
(deliberation can be very short)
2nd degree murder
-Intentions of the actors do not matter
Felony Murder in PA
any homicide committed by a defendant who is:
-engaged as a principle or accomplice, while attempting, fleeing, or committing a "BAR KIR" offense
- BAR KIR offense:
- In PA you do not have to be convicted of the felony to be convicted of felony murder
Third degree murder
All killings done with malice, but without SPECIFIC INTENT
- includes cases falling short of statutory intentional killings
Murder by Statute (special cases)
1) Homicide by Drug Delivery
2) Homicide by motor vehicle while driving under the influence
3) Homicide by motor vehicle
Homicide by Drug Delivery
One must deliver a controlled substance to another person, and
another person dies from its use
Homicide by motor vehicle while driving under the influence
Must be a causation proven between the victims dead and the driver being under the influence
Homicide by motor vehicle
When driving is RECKLESS or GROSSLY NEGLIGENT while operating a motor vehicle while violating the law, and the driver kills someone
2 types of voluntary manslaughter
heat of passion and
Mistaken Justification (imperfect self-defense)
Heat of passion killing (voluntary manslaughter)
Sudden and intense passion, from a serious provocation
-provocation must come from an individual killed, or person who the perpetrator tried to kill where he negligently or accidentally causes death to the actual victim
Mistaken Justification (voluntary manslaughter)
(unreasonable but honest)
The defendant actually believes the killing was justified but her belief was wrong and unreasonable
basically a failed self defense attempt
Death caused as a DIRECT RESULT of doing any act in a RECKLESS or GROSSLY NEGLIGENT manner
(killing in which there is no intent to kill at all)
The crime of "theft" in pa is intended to embrace the offenses previously known as larceny, embezzlement, false pretense, extortion, blackmail, receiving stolen property, and the like.
basic philosophy: If a person takes something which does not belong to him, it constitutes theft:
Property of another can include contraband, drugs, etc
NO PERMISSION under PA law to take random items of another in order to settle an unrelated debt
Crimes of INTENTIONAL conduct
Theft by unlawful taking (moveable and immovable property)
(a) Movable property.--A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with intent to deprive him thereof.
(b) Immovable property.--A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully transfers, or exercises unlawful control over, immovable property of another or any interest therein with intent to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto.
Theft by Deception
A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally obtains or withholds property of another by deception. A person deceives if he intentionally:
(1) creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention or other state of mind; but deception as to a person's intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise;
(2) prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or
(3) fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.
(b) Exception.--The term "deceive" does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.
Theft by extortion
A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally obtains or withholds property of another by threatening to:
(1) commit another criminal offense;
(2) accuse anyone of a criminal offense;
(3) expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule;
(4) take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
(5) bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective unofficial action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
(6) testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to the legal claim or defense of another; or
(7) inflict any other harm which would not benefit the actor.
"Theft by" Receipt of stolen property
A person is guilty of theft if he INTENTIONALLY receives, retains, or disposes of movable property of another KNOWING that it has been stolen, OR believing (should have known) that it has probably been stolen, unless the property is received, retained, or disposed with intent to restore it to the owner.
(b) Definition.--As used in this section the word "receiving" means acquiring possession, control or title, or lending on the security of the property.
Retail left includes
Intentionally taking items from a store, altering price tags to reduce the price, moving items from one container to another
A person is guilty of forgery if, with intent to defraud or injure anyone, OR with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:
(1) alters any writing of another without his authority;
(2) makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed; or
(3) utters any writing which he knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraphs (1) or (2) of this subsection.
Includes writing bad checks, tampering with records, identity theft, and the like (writing bad check identify forgery)
Theft+ taking by force or threat of force (however slight force)
(1) A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:
(i) inflicts serious bodily injury upon another;
(ii) threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;
(iii) commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree;
(iv) inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury;
(v) physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight; or
(vi) takes or removes the money of a financial institution without the permission of the financial institution by making a demand of an employee of the financial institution orally or in writing with the intent to deprive the financial institution thereof.
(2) An act shall be deemed "in the course of committing a theft" if it occurs in an attempt to commit theft or in flight after the attempt or commission.
(3) For purposes of this subsection, a "financial institution" means a bank, trust company, savings trust, credit union or similar institution.
Burglary in PA
Entering a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime inside, UNLESS the premises were open to the public
A person commits the offense of burglary if, with the intent to commit a crime therein, the person:
(1) (i) enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, that is adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense any person is present and the person commits, attempts or threatens to commit a bodily injury crime therein;
(ii) enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense any person is present;
(2) enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense no person is present;
(3) enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is not adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense any person is present; or
(4) enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is not adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense no person is present.
Defense to burglary in PA
Premises were open to the public
building or structure was abandoned
The actor is licensed or privileged to enter
(Lesser offense than burglary)
A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he:
(i) enters, gains entry by subterfuge or surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof; or
(ii) breaks into any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.
Attempting to cause BODILY injury;
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury;
negligently causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon
Attempting to put another person in fear of SERIOUS BODILY INJURY BY PHYSICAL MENACE
a person is guilty of assault if he:
(1) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
(2) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
(3) attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
(4) conceals or attempts to conceal a hypodermic needle on his person and intentionally or knowingly penetrates a law enforcement officer or an officer or an employee of a correctional institution, county jail or prison, detention facility or mental hospital during the course of an arrest or any search of the person.
-More serious than simple (agg assault is a felony)
-Attempting to cause serious bodily injury; OR
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, under conditions manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, causing serious bodily injury (SBI)
-SBI= an act which causes a substantial risk of death, serious disfigurement, or protracted loss of a bodily part
A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:
(1) attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;
(2) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c) or to an employee of an agency, company or other entity engaged in public transportation, while in the performance of duty;
(3) attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c), in the performance of duty;
(4) attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
(5) attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a teaching staff member, school board member or other employee, including a student employee, of any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school while acting in the scope of his or her employment or because of his or her employment relationship to the school;
(6) attempts by physical menace to put any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c), while in the performance of duty, in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
(7) uses tear or noxious gas as defined in section 2708(b) (relating to use of tear or noxious gas in labor disputes) or uses an electric or electronic incapacitation device against any officer, employee or other person enumerated in subsection (c) while acting in the scope of his employment;
(8) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to a child less than six years of age, by a person 18 years of age or older; or
(9) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a child less than 13 years of age, by a person 18 years of age or older
Special version of agg assault
Agg assault by vechile while driving under the influence
-separate offense in PA: causing SBI negligently as the result of a DUI
Reckless endangerment of another person
A person is guilty of REOAP if he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.
Communicating a threat of violence with the intent to terrorize others or to cause evacuation
-Unlawful removal of another person a substantial distance under the circumstances from the place where he or she was found; or unlawful confinement of another for a substantial period of time with the intention to (among other things): a) terrorize or injure the victim b) hold the victim for ransom; or c) to facilitate the commission of a crime
a person is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another a substantial distance under the circumstances from the place where he is found, or if he unlawfully confines another for a substantial period in a place of isolation, with any of the following intentions:
(1) To hold for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage.
(2) To facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter.
(3) To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another.
(4) To interfere with the performance by public officials of any governmental or political function.
(themis essay states : "o A person is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another a substantial distance under the circumstances from the place where he is found, or if he unlawfully confines another for a substantial period in a place of isolation, with the intention to hold for ransom or to terrorize the victim. See 18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 2901 (a) (1) and (3). A removal or confinement is unlawful under Subsection (a) of the statute if it is accomplished by force, threat or deception. See 18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 2901 (b)(1)."
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