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Voluntary physical act/failure to act which is criminalized.
When can failure to act create criminal liability?
- (1) Statutory duty
- (2) special relationship
- (3) an assumption of a duty which is cast aside
- (4) defendant causes peril and fails to prevent the victims injury - requires defendants knowledge.
The requisite state of mind to commit a crime.
Specific intent crimes
Require the defendant to commit the actus reus for the purpose of obtaining a specific result.
FIAT crimes and specific intent
- First degree murder
- Inchoate crimes of conspiracy, attempt and solicitation.
- Assault with attempt to commit a battery
- Theft offenses, like larceny, embezzlement, forgery, burglary and robbery.
General intent crimes
- The defendant must intend to commit an act which is in fact unlawful.
- The defendant will be guilty despite a mistake of law.
- Defendant must act with reckless disregard for high risk of harm occurring.
- Murder and arson are malice crimes.
No particular state of mind is required for conviction so long as the defendant has committed the act.
Transferred intent doctrine
When the defendant has the requisite mens rea for committing a crime against one but commits the crime against another, the required mens rea will be transferred to the actual victim.
One person may be held liable for the actus reus of another.
Merger of Crimes
A defendant can be convicted of more than one crime arising out of the same act unless the crime merge together.
Merger of inchoate and completed offense
- Attempt and solicitation merge with the completed offense.
- Conspiracy does not merge with a completed offense.
- Defendants whose acts or omissions form the actus reus of the crime.
- Can be more than one principal to a crime.
- Persons who do not commit an element of the crime, but assist the principals before or during the commission of the crime.
- Must act with the intent to assist the principal in committing the crime.
- For planned crimes, as well as any unforeseeable crimes.
- Accomplices may be liable even if they can't be principals or the principal cannot be convicted.
Person protected by statute
Cannot be convicted as an accomplice (statutory rape, attempted suicide).
Accessories after the Fact
A person who helps a defendant after the crime has been committed
Aiders and Abettors
- Theory of criminal liability.
- One who aid or abet a defendant to commit a crime may also be guilty of the separate crime of conspiracy
Mistake of law
- No defense, except when:
- (1) defendant relied on high-level government interpretations
- or (2) lack of notice.
- A defendants belief that conduct was legal may negate elements of a specific intent crime.
Mistake of fact - general intent and malice crimes
- Mistake of fact must be reasonable.
- Mistake of fact must go to criminal intent.
Mistake of fact - specific intent crimes
A defense for mistakes of fact, whether they are reasonable or unreasonable.
Mistake of Fact - Strict liability
Never a defense.
Defendant did not know the nature of the act or did not know that the act was wrong.
Defendant has a mental disease or defect that means the defendant cannot control himself.
Defendant would not have committed the crime but for having a mental disease or defect.
Model Penal Code
Due to a mental disease or defect, the defendant did not have the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his acts or conform his conduct to the law.
- When defendant is (1) unaware she received an intoxicating substance, (2) is forced/tricked into ingesting the substance, or (3) has an unexpected/unanticipated reaction to a prescription medication.
- A valid defense to SI, GI and malice crimes.
- When a person intentionally ingests a substance knowing that it was an intoxicant.
- A defense to SI crimes when it prevents the defendant from forming the mens rea.
- Not valid if defendant got drunk to commit the crime.
Conspiracy - Common law (SI)
- (1) agreement (2) between two or more people (3) to commit an unlawful act.
- May not be withdrawn from.
Conspiracy - Modern law (SI)
- (1) agreement (2) between two or more people (3) to commit an unlawful act and (4) an overt act in furtherance of the crime.
- May withdraw prior to the overt act or by informing police.
Conspiracy - MPC (SI)
- (1) agreement (2) between two or more people (3) to commit an unlawful act and (4) an overt act in furtherance of the crime.
- Parties in agreement can be undercover agents.
- To withdraw, must help police thwart the crime.
Mistake of law and Conspiracy
Overt act and conspiracy
May be lawful or unlawful, but must further the conspiracy.
Crimes which conspirators may be convicted of
- (1) conspiracy,
- (2) attempt of the crime,
- (3) the actual crime if successful, and
- (4) all substantive crimes committed by any other conspirator acting in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Attempted Crime (SI)
- (1) specific intent to commit a particular criminal act and
- (2) taking a substantial step towards perpetrating the crime.
- When an individual (1) intentionally (2) invites, request or commands another person (3) to commit a crime.
- Upon agreement, merges into conspiracy.
Solicitation in MD
Only sexual offenses.
Crimes related to the taking of the life of another. There must be the killing of another with causation between the defendants acts and the loss of life both actual (but-for) and proximate causation (foreseeability)
Common law murder (M)
- The unlawful killing of another human committed with malice aforethought. Must be murder of a human being other than yourself.
- MD: uses the common definition for murder.
MD Killing of a fetus
- Murder if fetus is viable, except for woman or licensed medical professional.
- Conduct must (1) intended to cause death, (2) intended to cause serious bodily injury, or (3) wanton/reckless to create a substantial likelihood to cause death or serious bodily injury to the fetus.
Malice - Intent to kill
Defendant acted with the desire that the victim wind up dead.
Malice - Intent to inflict serious bodily harm
The defendant intended to hurt the victim grievously, and the victim died. Foreseeability.
Abandoned and Malignant Heart
- Defendant acted with cavalier disregard for human life and a death resulted.
- Defendant must realize that conduct is really risky but need not have any intent about outcome.
When a death occurs during the commission or attempted commission of a BARRK crime.
burglary, arson, rape, robbery or kidnapping.
Felony Murder - Proximate Cause theory
May be held responsible for the death of victim who resists, a bystander or third person killed by resister or police officers.
Felony Murder - Agency theory
- Limits a defendant's guilt for felony murder to deaths caused by himself or his accomplices.
- MD follows this rule
Death of a co-felon
Does not create a felony murder situation.
Voluntary manslaughter (GI)
- Murder of another human while under heat of passion or extreme emotional disturbance.
- Reasonable person standard.
- Look for cooling off period.
MD: voluntary manslaughter
murder committed in response to adequate provocation.
Involuntary manslaughter (GI)
The criminally negligent killing of another; or the killing of another while committing a crime that is not BARRK.
MD: Involuntary manslaughter (GI)
- Unintentional homicide committed with criminal negligence during an unlawful act.
- Criminal negligence - reckless inaction that puts another person at a significant risk of injury/death.
MD: Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel - Gross negligence.
- Statutory form of voluntary manslaughter.
- Consciousness of the risk, wanton or reckless disregard for human life.
MD: Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel - Criminal negligence.
- Statutory form of involuntary manslaughter.
- Substantial and unjustifiable risk; a deviation from the standard of care.
MD: Homicide by Motor Vehicle
The negligent operation of a vehicle/vessel under the influence of drugs/alcohol that causes the death of another.
DUI per se
BAC 0.08% or higher. Homicide while under the influence.
DWI (driving while impaired)
- BAC between 0.04-0.08%.
- If death, then homicide while impaired by [substance].
Theft crimes - MD
Theft crimes into a single statutory crime called theft.
(1) taking (2) property of another (3) without consent and (4) with the intent to permanently deprive.
(1) Taking of anothers property (2) and converting it for his own use (3) in the course of employment.
Larceny by trick (SI)
(1) Taking or carrying away (2) possession of another (3) by fraud or trick (4) with intent to permanently deprive.
False pretenses (GI)
(1) a false representation of a material past or existing fact (2) which the person making the representation knows is false (3) upon which the complaining witnesses relies upon and (4) gives something of value to defendant.
MD: Receiving Stolen Goods.
- Illegal to receive stolen goods.
- May be implied if the defendant receives goods at a price far below reasonable value so the goods are very likely to have been stolen.
- If part of an undercover sting operation, it is not a defense that the goods are not actually stolen.
(1) making of a false document (2) with the intent to use it for fraud.
MD: Identity Theft.
Stealing personal identifying information of another (1) for any financial benefit, (2) to annoy/threaten/embarrass/harass, or (3) to avoid apprehension.
- (1) taking and carrying away of (2) the property of another (3) from a victim or from within his presence (4) through force or threat of imminent force (5) with intent to permanently deprive.
- This is larceny + assault.
Robbery with threat of future harm.
MD: Robbery with a dangerous and deadly weapon.
Assault + Larceny + Deadly weapon such as firearms, knives and hammers.
Assault + Larceny + Taking of a Car.
Burglary Common law (SI)
(1) breaking and entering (2) into the dwelling of another (3) at night (4) with the intent to commit a felony therein.
Burglary Modern law (SI)
(1) breaking and entering (2) into the property of another (3) with an intent to commit a felony therein.
MD: Burglary - First degree
- (1) breaking and entering (2) into the dwelling of another (3) with the intent to commit a serious offense or crime of violence.
- MD: Burglary- Second degree
- (1) breaking and entering (2) into the premises or storehouse of another.
MD: Burglary - Third degree
(1) breaking and entering (2) into the dwelling of another (3) with the intent commit any crime.
MD: Burglary - Fourth degree
being found on the property of another; trespassing or possessing burglars tools.
Rogue and Vagabond
(1) possession of burglars tools (2) with the intent to break and enter into a motor vehicle.
- Two flavors.
- 1. Attempted battery
- 2. Intentionally placing another in fear of imminent bodily harm.
MD Second-degree assault
- Common law assault and battery.
- 10 year misdemeanor; felony if against a police officer.
MD First-degree assault
- Intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm or harm by use of firearm.
- Penalty of up to 25 years.
(1) unlawful application of force (2) to another (3) which causes bodily harm or is an offensive touching.
(1) unlawful sexual intercourse (2) with a female (3) against her will (4) by force or threat of force.
- Sexual intercourse under the statutory age - strict liability.
- MD: under 14.
MD: first degree rape.
(1) Vaginal intercourse (2) with another (3) without consent (4) by force or threat of immediate force, along with (5) (a) use/display of a dangerous weapon, (b) suffocation/strangling/disfiguring/inflicting serious bodily injury on victim/another, (c) threatening or placing a victim in fear that the victim will be death/suffocation/strangulation/disfigurement/serious physical injury/kidnapping, (d) while aided or abetted, or (e) in commission of a burglary.
MD: second degree rape.
- (1) Vaginal intercourse (2) without consent (3) by force/immediate threat of force
- - Where victim is mentally defective or incapacitated or physically helpless and defendant knows/has reason to know of condition
- - Where victim is between the ages of 4-14.
MD: third degree sexual offense.
Defendant is over the age of 21 and victim is age 14-15.
MD: fourth degree sexual offense.
Defendant is under age of 21 but at least four years older than the 14-15 year old victim.
MD: spousal rape
- Defense to rape.
- Not applicable if force/threat of force or spouses have been separated pursuant to an agreement for at least three months.
Vaginal intercourse between individuals within degrees of consanguinity that are too close to be permitted to be married.
(1) Unlawful (2) confinement of another (3) against their will (4) by moving or hiding the victim.
Arson (M): Common law
(1) malicious (2) burning (3) of the dwelling of another.
Arson (M): Modern law
(1) malicious (2) burning (3) of a dwelling.
MD: First Degree Arson (SI)
(1) malicious (2) burning or setting fire (3) to dwelling where one sleeps or building where one is present.
MD: Second Degree Arson (SI)
(1) malicious (2) burning or setting fire (3) to a structure.
MD: Malicious Burnings with Intent to Defraud
Malicious burning of personal property.
MD: Destructive Devices
Possession/sale/transport/control/storage/sale/distribution/use of any explosive or incendiary device is a felony.
Willful act of falsely promising to tell the truth, or stating something galse either verbally in writing about material matters.
Common Bribery (GI)
(1) corrupt payment of something of value (2) for purposes of influencing an official (3) in the discharge of his official duties.
Modern law Bribery (GI)
Bribe can be made to more than public officials.
Sexual relations with someone other than your spouse while married. Misdemeanor - $10 fine.
Being married to two people at the same time.
MD: Child abuse.
- Defendant must be in loco parentis.
- Second degree is assault, cruel/inhumane treatment or malicious act.
- First degree is assault, cruel/inhumane or malicious act which results into death or severe physical injury.
MD: Committing a crime in the presence of a minor.
- A person may not commit a crime of violence when the person knows/reasonably should know that a minor that is at least two years old in present.
- Five years in addition to other sentence.
MD: Drug Crimes.
(1) possession of drugs with (2) dominion and (3) control.
MD: Possession with intent to distribute.
Possession of more drugs than a mere drug user would use.
MD: Sale or transfer of drugs to another
Distribution of narcotics.
MD: simple possession of marijuana
Civil offense and a $100 fine.
Annoying behavior where the victim tells defendant to stop but the defendant persists.
A malicious course of conduct, such as approaching or pursuing an individual, which creates reasonable fear.
MD: telephone misuse.
Repeated or anonymous calls by the defendant in a manner reasonably to be expected to annoy/abuse/torment/harass/embarrass.
MD: Revenge Porn.
Intentionally causing serious emotional distress by intentionally placing a photo/video on the Internet where another person reveals their identity with their intimate parts exposed or engaged in a sexual act.
MD: violation of a protective order
A criminal offense.
MD: threats against state and local officials.
Unlawful to make a threat to kill/kidnap/cause physical injury (3 year penalty).
MD: Disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace
Must disturb someone other than a police officer.
Separate offenses can charged for using a handgun in conjunction with the offense.
two party consent state both parties must consent.
MD: Camera Offenses
It is illegal to place a camera in a private residence.
MD: Not Criminally Resposible
A defendant is not criminally responsible for criminal conduct if, at the time of conduct, the defendant, due to mental disorder or retardation, lacks substantial capacity to (1) appreciate the criminality of the conduct or (2) conform that conduct to the requirements of the law.
- May be invoked when the defendant has a reasonable fear of imminent harm, and uses proportionate force to defend himself. Non-deadly force can be used at any time provided that it is proportionate to the harm.
- Deadly force can only be used if the defendant reasonably believes that deadly force will be used against him.
- A minority of jurisdictions require retreat before the use of deadly force, while none require retreat while in your home (Castle Doctrine).
- MD: duty to retreat except in home, when being robbed, or when no safe retreat is possible.
Defense of another
- A defendant can act to defend another person who would be entitled to defend herself.
- Works like self-defense.
Defense of property
- A defendant can use proportionate force to defend his property.
- One can never use deadly force to defend property, but the situation can escalate to the point where it becomes self-defense.
- Defendant committed a crime because (1) he was threatened by a third party and (2) reasonably believed that the only way to avoid death or injury was to commit the crime.
- Threat to property is insufficient.
- A defense for all crimes but intentional murder.
- If natural forces of nature cause the defendant to commit what would otherwise be a crime, the defendant may be justified in doing so based upon necessity.
- The defendant is not entitled to assert necessity if he set the natural forces in motion (e.g., set the fire) or if there is a noncriminal alternative.
At common law, 0-7 could not commit a crime, 8-14 rebuttable presumption that could not commit a crime, and 14+ could be charged as an adult.
- Entrapment is the planning and commission of a crime by a person who is not predisposed to commit the crime and would not do so but for the officer's trickery, persuasion or fraud of the officer.
- Subjective test: crime is induced by a government official, and defendant was not predisposed to commit the crime.
Reckless Endangerment (GI)
- A person may not recklessly
- (1) engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another
- or (2) discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.