Criminal Law Crimes
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Common Law definition of Arson
Arson is the malicious burning of the dwelling house of another.
Elements of Arson
Common Law and MPC:
- 1) Malice
- Must have one of the following mental states to prove malice:
- A) Intent to burn
- B) Knowledge that structure would burn
- C) Intent to create an obvious fire hazard
- 1) Negligence is not sufficient to prove malice.
- 2) No felony murder rule
- 3) High risk created by burning own dwelling - If on creates a high risk that other residences will catch fire, shi guilty of arson if one of them does. (Intentional Creation of a fire hazard type of malice.
- 2) Burning All of the following must be present to prove burning:
- A) A fire - Not just an explosion
- MPC 220.1(1) - Starting a fire with the purpose of destroying a building or occupied structure of another. (Burning not required);this expands to include explosions.
- B) That at least charred (burned, not discolored)
- C) Part of the structure (Not just the contents of the house).
- Cal. Penal Code 450 - Includes the burning of another's personal property, although the penalty is less severe than arson involving a structure.
- Structure must be a dwelling.
- MPC 220.1(1)(a) - Building or occupied Structure; Cal. Penal Code 450 - any structure, forest land, or property.
- A) Cal. Penal Code 451(d) - burning of property not inhabited or peronal property owned by defendant is arson if done with intent to defraud.
- 4) Of another - Must be that of another person - Not crime to burn own house, possession rule's, not ownership.
- Misdemeanor of Houseburning - One who intentionally burns her own dwelling commits the common law misdemeanor of "houseburning" if the house is located in a city or town or sufficiently close to other houses to create a risk of their burning.
- Cal. Penal Code 451 - burning of structure or property made arson without regard to ownership or identity of inhabitants.
Common law felony and Felony by statute in almost all jurisdictions.
What is the definition of Assault?
Attempt to commit a battery.
Model Penal Code:
An attempt to cause bodily injury to another or an attempt by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily harm.
Elements of Attempted battery as assault?
- 1) Mens Rea
- A) Must have intended the application of force to the victim.
- B) Intent to willfully commit an act, the direct, natural, and probable consequences of which would be injury to another.
- 2) Actus Reus
- - Defendant must have progressed sufficiently towards completing the battery.
- 3) Present ability to succeed
- - Proof that defendant had the present ability to succeed in an attempt to commit a battery.
4) Conditional Assault - Fact that the defendant expressly or impliedly represented that she woul.d not commit a battery if the victim complied with certain demands does not bar a conviction for assault.
Elements of Intentional Placing in fear as assault?
1) Intent to cause apprehension of harm.
2) Victim must be apprehensive.
3) conduct sufficient to create reasonable apprehension.
Definition of Attempt?
- Common Law
- Attempt the commission of any felony or misdemeanor.
Attempt consists of a specific intent to commit a crime and an act in futherance of that intent that goes far enough towards completion of the crime.
Definition of Battery?
The unlawful application of force to the person of another.
Injury or offensive touching required.
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