crim law - principles.txt

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227294
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crim law - principles.txt
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2013-07-16 15:03:54
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ca bar crim law principles
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ca bar crim law principles
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  1. Actus Reus
    • A physical act (or unlawful omission) by the defendant.
    • Must be voluntary (product of own volition).
  2. Mens Rea
    • The state of mind or intent of the defendant at the time of his act
    • 1) Strict Liability
    • 2) General Intent
    • 3) Specific Intent
    • 4) Knowingly
    • 5) Recklessly
    • 6) Criminal Negligence
    • 7) Negligence
  3. Strict Liability
    No intent crimes
  4. General Intent
    • General Intent requires only that the defendant be aware that she is acting in the proscribed way.
    • Can be inferred merely by committing the criminal act
    • Defenses: “reasonable” mistake of fact is a defense to all
  5. Specific Intent
    • Specific Intent requires not only the doing of an act, but the doing of it with a specific intent or objective.
    • Statute specifies “knowingly,” “with intent to”– means specific intent
    • Specific intent crimes qualify for additional defenses not available for other kinds of crime.
    • 1) Unreasonable mistake of fact
    • 2) Diminished Capacity
  6. Specific Intent CrimeS:
    • a) solicitation, conspiracy, attempt
    • b) first degree murder
    • c) assault (as attempted battery)
    • d) larceny
    • e) embezzlement
    • f) false pretenses
    • g) robbery
    • h) burglary
    • i) forgery
  7. Malice
    • a) Murder
    • b) Arson
  8. Transferred intent?
    Intent to commit crime can be transferred to victim different than originally intended victim
  9. Accomplice liability - parties?
    • 1) principal: actually commits the crime
    • 2) accomplice: aids, abets, or counsels the principal with intent to commit the crime
    • 3) accessory after the fact: intend to help a felon avoid apprehension after the felony, knowing he committed the felony)
  10. Accomplice liability - what liability?
    • 1) mere presence or knowledge not enough, must have a STAKE in the outcome
    • 2) liable for the crime itself and all foreseeable crimes
  11. Accessory after the fact - what liability?
    • 1) CL, vicariously liable
    • 2) Modernly, liable for obstruction of justice only. Not liable for crimes committed by principal.
    • Note: Need knowledge of felony at that time the time of the assistance. Acquiring knowledge after the fact does not create accessory after the fact liability
  12. Withdrawal (accomplice)
    • One who has rendered encouragement or aid to another may avoid liability as an accomplice if he voluntarily withdraws from the crime before it is actually committed by the principal.
    • 1) If the person merely encouraged the commission of the crime, he must repudiate his encouragement.
    • 2) If the person provided some material (e.g., gun), he must do all possible to retreive it.
    • 3) Alternative: notify authorities or take some action to prevent commission of the crime
    • note: withdrawal must be before the chain of events leading to the commission of the crime becomes unstoppable
  13. Solicitation
    • Element: asks or requests someone to commit a crime
    • if the party solicited refuses, no defense!
    • vicarious liability: if the party solicited actually commits the crime, the solicitor is also liable for the crime
    • Merger: solicitation merges into conspiracy
  14. Conspiracy
    • 1) an agreement--express or implied from conduct--to accomplish some unlawful purpose
    • 2) intent to agree with another
    • -----MPC Unilateral Conspiracy rule: one guilty mind is enough for conspiracy if the guilty mind believed the other party was actually agreeing
    • -----Wharton's Rule: if the target crime requires 2 participants, then no conspiracy unless there are three participants
    • 3) intent to acheive the objective of the agreement
    • 4) overt act in furtherance of objective
    • -----Minority rule: only need to have agreement, no overt act needed.
    • -----but any little act will suffice!
  15. Conspiracy - vicarious liability?
    • Each conspirator is liable for all crimes of other conspirators if:
    • 1) foreseeable, and
    • 2) in furtherance of the felony
  16. Minors/Legislative Intent: Conspiracy?
    if the D is a member of the class that the statute was designed to protect, D is prevented from liability of conspiracy.
  17. Withdrawal from conspiracy
    • 1) must communicate intent to withdraw to all other conspirators before the target crime occurs
    • 2) no withdrawal from liability for the conspiracy itself
  18. Other defenses to conspiracy?
    • No merger! conspiracy does not merge with target crime, so you are liable for both.
    • No impossibility defense. still liable for conspiracy
  19. Attempt
    • Definition: specific intent to commit target crime
    • Requires: substantial step in the direction of the commission of the crime, or come dangerously close (mere preparation not enough)
    • Merger: attempt merges with the committed crime
  20. Defenses to attempt?
    • 1) factual impossibility no defense, if the facts were as defendant believed them to be
    • 2) legal impossibility is a defense when the acts defendant intended to commit are not a crime
    • 3) abandonment no defense after the substantial steps have begun

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