The Elements of Crime

The flashcards below were created by user luis11lb on FreezingBlue Flashcards.

  1. Actus Reus
    Definition: Voluntary act or omission that causes social harm 

    • Omission:
    • 1. Must be duty to act 
    • 2. Must be capable of acting 
    • 3. Must be aware of need to act 

    • Legal Duty to Act:
    • 1. Special relationship (family)
    • 2. Contract: required to act in specific way 
    • 3. Statute requires to act 
    • 4. Defendant creates the risk of harm to victim 
    • 5. Defendant voluntarily assumes care of victim in need of help
  2. Actus Reus Case: Mitchell (black boy beats white boy) 
    Thoughts: Abstract beliefs not considered unless they are a relevant motive to the actus reus 

    Justification: Social harm greater for bias inspired conduct
  3. Actus Reus Case: Martin (drunkard at home taken outside) 
    Presumption: Courts read into a statute that a voluntary at is presumed
  4. Actus Reus Case: Decina (epileptic driving) 
    if defendant makes a voluntary act which risks causing involuntary harm later, the second act is voluntary
  5. Actus Reus Case: Pestinikas (Couple contracted to care for sick man) 
    Contract Criminal Liability: If there is malicious intent behind an omission from contractual duty, defendants are guilty of the crime
  6. Actus Reus Case: Jones (homeless)
    Status: Cannot punish involuntary acts or status
  7. Causation
    Types of Causation 

    Rementer (escaping girlfriend died from car)
    Henderson (drunkard robbed & left on road then struck by truck)  
    Definition: Voluntary act or omission must cause the social harm 

    • Types of Causation: 
    • But for cause: defendant's conduct is one of the causal factors of the social harm 
    • Proximate Cause: whether it is fair to hold defendant criminally liable
    •      (1) No intervening causes: conduct is direct cause and criminally liable 
    •      (2) Dependent Intervening Cause: liable unless intervening cause is extremely unusual
    •      (3) Independent Intervening Cause: not liable unless intervening cause is foreseeable
    •            Standard: should have known actions lead to consequences
  8. Mens Rea 
    Types of Mens Rea

    Malice & Maliciously 
    Definition: intent requirement 

    No defense: Willfull blindness or consciously not finding out possibility that conduct is illegal

    • Intent Categories: 
    • 1. Purposely: Defendant wanted the result 
    • 2. Knowingly: Defendant knows result is likely to occur (CA reads this if no intent specified) 
    • 3. Recklessly: Defendant is aware of risks and is indifferent 
    • 4. Negligently: Defendant should have known the risks of conduct

    Willfully: willingness to commit the act or omission 

    Malice & Maliciously: intent to do a wrongful act
  9. Mens Rea Case: Cunningham (statute required malicious intent)
    Maliciously: means recklessly
  10. Mens Rea Case: Holloway (threaten to shoot driver unless handed keys) 
    Conditional Intent: Conditional intent to harm satisfies mens rea element
  11. Mens Rea Case: Scott (transferred intent) 
    Express Malice: Intent to kill only 

    Rule: If defendant intends to kill A and unintended kills B, the intent to kill A is transferred to B. 

    Note: Can still charge attempted murder of A.
  12. Mens Rea Case: Atkins (set fire while intoxicated) 

    General & Specific intent crimes 
    General Intent Crime: requires intent to commit an act 

    Specific Intent Crime: requires intent to cause the resulting harm 

    Intoxication: can negate existence of specific intent only
  13. Mens Rea Case: Morissette (strict liability) 
    Generally: courts read into mens rea element into statute if not specified 

    Strict liability: no mens rea is required (public welfare offenses)
  14. Concurrence 
    Types of Concurrence
    Definition: connection between actus reus & mens rea 

    • Types of Concurrence: Must both be proven 
    • 1. Temporal: mens rea is present during commission of actus reus 
    • 2. Motivational: mens rea is motivating factor of actus reus
Card Set:
The Elements of Crime
2015-11-29 19:24:06

statute analysis
Show Answers: