Criminal Litigation Exam 3

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  1. Components of a Crime
    Harm or likely harm•Actus Reus•Mens Rea•Causation
  2. Harm
    •Actual damage, injury, or loss that results from an act•Harm must occur for an act to be criminal•Harm determines the classification of a crime
  3. Actus Reus•
    Actus reus means wrongful or guilty act•Why is an act required?–Hard to prove thoughts•Overt act can be proven•Overt act has demonstrable consequences–Thoughts do not cause harm–Punishment for thoughts alone gives too much power to government and law enforcement
  4. Voluntary and Involuntary Acts
    Criminal liability attaches only when there is a voluntary act, which can be a–Product of free will or–Failure to perform a duty•Involuntary behavior is not punished
  5. Omissions
    An omission is a failure to act•Omissions are generally not a crime•This changes when there is a legal duty to act•A duty to act can arise:–By statute–By contract–By special relationship–By volunteering–By placing the victim in danger
  6. Possession
    The acquisition of something and the failure to dispose of it•Criminal possession involves physical control of two classes of objects–Unlawful objects–Lawful objects
  7. Unlawful Objects•
    This category may include–Weapons–Illegal drugs–Wiretapping devices–Stolen property–Obscene materials
  8. Lawful Objects
    •Lawful objects can be included under criminal statutes when they are combined with the intent to commit a crime, such as–Crowbars–Wire cutters–Drug paraphernalia
  9. Actual Possession•
    Many possession statutes require that the object be–On the person or–Under direct physical control or–Within reach
  10. Constructive Possession•
    Statutes can also make constructive possession a criminal act•Constructive possession is when an offender has–Knowledge of where the item is and–Has control of that area
  11. Mens Rea•
    A wrongful state of mind or the intent to commit a crime•Proof of mens rea depends on the circumstances surrounding the alleged criminal act•Motive is the reason behind the intent–Is not an element of the crime–Is a circumstance for the jury to consider
  12. General Intent•
    Some statutes require only general intent•Refers to the act itself•Does not require that results be intended
  13. Specific Intent•
    Other statutes require specific intent•Refers to carrying out of the act for purposes of achieving harm
  14. Transferred Intent•
    What happens when an unintended individual is harmed by a crime?•Transferred intent allows the perpetrator to be held criminally responsible for harm done to unintended victim•Perpetrator has culpable state of mind
  15. Concurrence•
    In addition to intent, concurrence—or the connection between the intent and the act—must be shown•Mens rea must concur with the actus reus
  16. Strict Liability•
    An exception to the rule that a crime must include a guilty state of mind•Strict liability crimes require only the wrongful act•Examples:–Traffic offenses–Sale of adulterated food–Failure to report child abuse
  17. Factors Indicating Strict Liability Crimes•
    • History/legislative intent•Statute plainly states that it is a strict liability crime•Severity of punishment—more severe, the less likely that it is a strict liability crime•Greater harm posed, more likely to be strict liability crime•Facts may be difficult to ascertain
    • •Difficulty proving mens rea increases likelihood that is a strict liability offense•Anticipation of large number of prosecutions may increase likelihood that is strict liability crime
  18. Causation
    This is the link between the intent, the act, and the harm•Law uses two concepts for causation–The “but for” test–Proximate cause•The act is closely related to and directly responsible for the injury•An individual is responsible for the forseeable consequences of his or her acts
  19. Supervening or Superseding Causes
    •Supervening cause may change causation•Definition: another event that may come between the criminal action and the harm•The actual cause of the harm•It breaks the causal connection between the original wrong and the injury
  20. Complicity
    Definition: the participation or assistance in the commission of a crime•Those who participate are equally guilty of the crime committed
  21. Parties to Crimes
    •Principals: those directly participating in the crime; bear equal culpability•Accomplices: those aiding or facilitating to the commission of the crime•Accessories: those providing aid before or after the crime–Accessory before the fact–Accessory after the fact
  22. Actus Reus in Complicity
    •The accomplice must provide affirmative assistance to principal—cannot be charged for merely being present•Affirmative assistance can be–A physical act that furthers crime–Encouraging principal to commit crime–Failure to act to prevent crime when he had a duty to do so–Accomplice has power or dominate relationship with principal
  23. Mens Rea in Complicity
    •Accomplice must have same mens rea as principal•Accomplice is also liable for crimes committed by the principal that are forseeable extensions of the crime
  24. Abandonment
    •Can abandoning participation in a crime negate criminal liability for the accomplice?•Yes if:–Accomplice withdraws aid given, or–Accomplice goes to the police in time to halt the crime
  25. Vicarious Liability
    Definition: the assigning of culpability to one person for the criminal act of another•Respondeat Superior: employer is responsible for the acts of the employee carrying out the employer’s business•Vicarious liability will not attach if–Employees acting on their own and outside scope of employment
  26. Corporate Liability
    Definition: Culpability of a corporation for the criminal act of one of its representatives•For crimes with specific intent, the corporation must appear to authorize or acquiesce to the commission of the crime•Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  27. Elements of Crime
    • -the requirement enumerated in statutes or common law that define a crime
    • -every crime includes the actus reus and mens rea but also elements that are specific to that crime
  28. Elements: Charging and Prosecuting
    • -Prosecutors must: match the evidence in each case to elements of the crime they are considering, the elements should dictate which charge is appropriate
    • -At trial the prosecutor must: prove each element of a crime, beyond a resonable doubt to convit
  29. Lesser Included Offense
    • -a/k/a necessarily included offense
    • -a lesser included offense is: provable by the same or fewer than all the facts needed to prove the charged offense, the attempt or solicitation to commit the charged offense, the same as the charged offense except it involves a less serious injury or risk
  30. Homicide
    • Mens rea in homicide is graded
    • -capital murder
    • -first degree murder
    • -second degree murder
    • -voluntary manslaughter
    • -involuntary manslaughter
    • -reckless homicide
  31. Capital Murder
    • the act is first-degree murder that is accompanied by aggravating circumstances
    • federal law and 38 states allows murderers to be put to death under certain circumstances
    • aggravating circumstances must be weighed against mitigating factors
  32. Capital Murder continued
    • Examples of aggravating factors
    • -previous convictions
    • -special cruelty
    • -vulnerability of the victim
    • -payment for murder
    • Examples of mitigating factors
    • -impaired capacity of defendant
    • -minor participation
    • -no previous history of crime
  33. First Degree Murder
    • This act includes
    • -killings that are purposeful, premeditated, or deliberate
    • -heinous or cruel killings
    • -unintentional killings during the commission of a dangerous felony
    • -outrageously reckless acts creating a risk of death to a number of people
  34. Felony Murder
    • the unintentional killing during the commission of a dangerous felony
    • the mens rea of the felony transfers to the killing
    • constitutes first degree murder
    • in some jurisdictions this could also be a capital offense
  35. Second Degree Murder
    • This act includes
    • -intended but not premeditated killings envinving a depraved heart or wanton recklesness
    • -killings resulting from a period of extreme emotional distress, not heat of passion
    • -unintentional killings during the commission of a felong-less dangerous felonies than in first degree felony murder
  36. Voluntary Manslaughter
    • This act includes
    • -killings on adequate provocation (heat of passion)
    • -killings when self defense is not a complete excuse
  37. Involuntary Manslaughter
    • This act includes
    • -reckless or grossly negligent condut causing death
    • -unintentional killing during the commission of a misdemeanor (misdemeanor manslaughter)
  38. Reckless Homicide
    • vehicular homicide (not intentional)
    • negligent homicide
  39. Assault and Battery
    • assault=the threat or attempt to cause an injury
    • battery=actual harmful contact between the perpetrator and victim
  40. Battery
    • the actus reus
    • -the physical injury
    • -offensive touching of another
    • the mens rea
    • -the intent to injury
    • -offensive touching
    • mens rea is negated if there is justification for the harmful contact
    • consent is a defense to battery
  41. Assault
    • assault involves purposeful intent to create reasonable apprehension of serious bodily injury
    • types of assault
    • -attempted battery
    • -threatened battery
    • actual fear was not required to prove apprehension of serious bodily injury
    • words alone are not assault if they are conditional
  42. Reckless Endangerment
    • this crime requires no actual physical or emotional harm
    • it is a general intent crime
    • occurs when the defendant causes a substantial risk of death or serious harm
  43. Terroristic Threatening
    • a reckless or intentional act that places a person in fear of his/her or anothers safety
    • the threat can be direct or implied
    • this crime does not require the defendant have the immediate ability to carry out the threat
    • it also does not require that the victim feel fear
  44. Stalking
    • the elements of stalking are
    • -the making of a credible threat to the safety of anothers or the other's family and repeatedly follows, places under survelliance or harasses the victim
    • -this crime includes computer harassment and cyber stalking
  45. Hate Crimes
    • a hate crime is a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim because of the actual or perceived
    • -race
    • -color
    • -religion
    • -national origin
    • -ethnicity
    • -gender
    • -gender identity
    • -disability
    • -sexual orientation
  46. Hate Crimes (continued)
    • these laws focus on the motive of the crime
    • conviction is a two part process
    • -the defendant is convicted on the predicate crime such as aggravated assault
    • -the jury then decides whether there is evidence to support that the crime was motivated by bias
  47. Sexual Battery
    • sexual crimes have always been considered a serious crime
    • often trials for a sexual offense turn on the credibility of the victim and defendant
    • rape shield laws prevent the victim's past sexual activity from being used at trial, unless the evidence is relevant to consent
    • changes in sexual assault laws also protect children in a variety of ways
  48. Sexual Battery (continued)
    • these laws now
    • -are written in gender-netural terms
    • -require reasonable resistance by the victim
    • -are expanded to include many types of sexual contact
    • in determining the grade of sexual battery, the offenses are graded on the basis of harm or the threat of harm
  49. Statutory Rape
    • the victim cannot consent to a sexual act if she or he is under the age of consent
    • the age varies among jurisdicitions
    • if a defendant has unforced sexual intercourse with an underage child it is a strict liability offense
  50. Megan's Law
    • laws mandating a sex offender to register with local law enforcement
    • the information is available to the public
    • failure to register is a crime
    • the goals
    • -public awareness and vigilance
    • -discourage re-offending
  51. Criminal Abuse
    • this term covers general mistreatment and neglect
    • the offense is generally committed by a person in a position of trust or authority
    • in addition to criminalizing this abuse the goal of these statutes is also to prevent repeated abuse by
    • -enforcing protective orders
    • -providing for civil suits against abusers
  52. Child Abuse
    • the crime abusing or allowing someone else to abuse by:
    • -causing injury
    • -placing in risk of injury
    • -confining or punishing cruely
    • -torturing
    • offenses are graded by degree of mens rea
    • -reckless abuse
    • -wanton abuse
    • -intentional abuse
  53. Intimate Partner Violence
    • Abuse that occurs as part of
    • -an intimate relationship
    • -shared residence
    • -shared child
    • trauma of the abouse is exacerbated by continuing access and control by the offender
  54. Elder Abuse
    • abuse of the elderly include
    • -neglect
    • -physical abuse
    • -finacial exploitation
    • -emotional abuse
    • -sexual abuse
  55. Kidnapping
    • Federal Kidnapping Act
    • -establishes federal jurisdiction if the victim is taken across state lines
    • -this law covers kidnapping
    • -for ransom
    • -for any benefit (such as revenge)
    • -the abduction is unlawful whether it is done
    • -by force
    • -by deception
  56. Kidnapping may also include
    • -confinement for purposes of involuntary servitude
    • -compelled labor against ones will
    • -harboring a runaway
    • -unlawful sale of a public conveyance travel ticket to a minor
  57. Elements of Kidnapping
    • Includ
    • -the asportation (seizing, confining, and carrying away) of another
    • -by force, threat, or deception
    • without consent
  58. Asportation
    • the removal of the victim from a place of security to one of greater danger
    • this element distinguishes it from false imprisonment
  59. Crimes against Habitation
    • these crimes are a threat to the security and privacy of people
    • these crimes include
    • -arson
    • -vandalism
    • -burglary
  60. Arson
    • the actus reus of this crime is
    • -the burning of another's property and causing actual damage
    • burning includes the traditional setting of a fire as well as explosions
  61. Property
    • arson encompasses
    • -houses
    • -outbuildings
    • -business structures
    • -public buildings
    • -churches
    • -bridges
    • -woods, prairies, and crops
  62. Burglary
    • Elements
    • breaking
    • entering
    • the structure of another
    • with the intent to commit a felony
  63. Breaking
    • breaking can mean anything from actually breaking down a door to pushing thorugh an already unlatched door
    • constructive breaking goes even further to include tricking or threatening the owner to open the door
  64. Entering
    • entry is the process of going into the private area after access has been gained through breaking
    • statutes may include surreptitously remaining or entering an area lawfully but staying beyond a lawful time without permission
  65. structure
    • any structure, vehicle, or place adapted for overnight accomodation for carrying
    • any structure for carrying on business
    • an abandoned building is not subject to burglary
  66. Mens Rea
    • this is a specific intent crime
    • the defendant must intend to commit a crime within the structure
    • intent may be inferred from circumstances
    • if a defendant breaks and enters without the intent to commit a crime that is the misdemeanor of criminal trespass
  67. Lesser Related Offense
    one that does not meet the requirements of lesser included offenses but bears a substantial relationship to the charged offense
  68. Homicide
    common law homicide is the killing of one person by another was divided into justifiable homicide such as that committed by police in the line of duty, excuasable homicide such as that committed by onee who is insane and criminal homicide
  69. Actus Reus in Homicide
    taking the life of another human being is the actus reus of homicide (the victim was alive before the act)
  70. Causation in Homicide
    one element of the crime is to the link of causation between the act of the accused and the harm of the victim
  71. Superseding Cause
    also known as intervening cause, the cause of an injury or death, other than the original act or crime, that will negate the accuseds respobsibility for the original criminal activity
  72. Civil Rights Violations
Card Set:
Criminal Litigation Exam 3
2012-03-29 03:38:39

Chapter 3 & 4
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