Criminal Law

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  1. Murder
    Definition - killing of a human with malice of forethought.

    • Malice of forethought can be established in four ways:
    • (1) intent to kill
    • (2) intent to inflict serious bodily injury
    • (3) intent to commit a dangerous felony (felony-murder rule)
    • (4) depraved heart murder - covers an unintentional killing that results from the defendant's reckless conduct
  2. Felony Murder Rule
    Covers unintentional killing that results from the commission or attempted-commission of a serious or inherently dangerous felony

    Satisfies the malice of forethought requirement for murder

    All participants in the felony-murder are responsible

    Only limitation is that it has to be a serious or inherently dangerous felony, which can be remembered with the acronym BARRK: Burglary, Arson, Robbery, Rape & Kidnapping
  3. Felony-Murder Liability
    felon is only liable for the deaths he or his accomplices cause (agency theory of liability)

    e.g. felons are not liable for people killed by the police
  4. Manslaughter
    (1) voluntary - intentional killing in the heat of passion (defendant acts with adequate provocation)

    (2) involuntary - unintentional killing that results from the defendant's criminally negligent conduct

    (3) misdemeanor manslaughter - death that occurs as the result of an assault or battery
  5. Battery
    Harmful or offensive contact with the person of another
  6. Larceny
    The trespassery taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the specific intent to steal

    • Note: trespassery means w/o consent
    • Note: the carrying away requirement is frequently referred to as the asportation requirement
  7. Larceny by Trick
    The Taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the specific intent to steal and the taking is achieved by lies, deceit or false statement
  8. Embezzlement
    Misappropriation of the property of another by one who is in rightful possession of the propery
  9. Accomplice Liability
    Accomplice is someone that assists the principal before or during the commission of a crime with the intent that the crime be committed.

    This applies to any crime.

    Absent a statute (though there are statutes in most jurisdictions), mere knowledge that a crime might result from a sale of ordinary goods at ordinary prices is insufficient to estabblish accomplice liability.
  10. False Pretenses
    Defendant obtains title to property by means of lies, deceit or false statement

    Differs from larceny by trick by virtue of teh fact that the dfendant obtained title.

    Cash transfers qualify without respect to the title limitation. For the purpose of the MBE, cash is always object in question.
  11. Burglary
    The breaking and entering into the dwelling house of another at night with the specific intent to comit a larceny or a felony

    This is commonly defined by statute to include theft from facilities other than a dwelling house.
  12. Self-Defense Defense
    Person is privileged to use reasonable force in self-defense when threatened with bodily injury or harm
  13. Justified Use of Deadly Force
    Priviliged to use deadly force in self-defense when faced with imminent, serious bodily injury or death

    The threat of serious bodily harm appears to apply to police as well.
  14. M'Nagthen Rule
    • Insanity Defense - 3 elements:
    • (1) disease of the mind that;
    • (2) caused a defect of reason;
    • (3) which left the defendant at the time of his actions lacking the ability to either (a) know the wrongfulness of his actions; or (b) understand the nature and quality of his actions.
  15. Intoxication Defense
    Intoxication is a defense to a specific intent crime.

    • Note: Attempt is a specific intent crime
    • Note: if you form your intent to commit teh crime first, but then intoxicate yourself to "work up the nerve," the intoxication defense won't work.
  16. Duress Defense
    Duress is a defense to every crime except murder
  17. Conspiracy
    Each person who takes part in the planning of a crime is guilty of conspiracy

    Withdrawal - so long as the conspirator effectively communicates the withdrawal to his coconspirators, he is not guilty of any crime that occurs after the withdrawal.

    Note - A defendant can be guilty of conspiracy even if he withdrew from the plan before the crime is executed
  18. Arson
    The malicious burning of the dwelling-house of another

    Malicious = intent to burn the dwelling OR reckless disregard for whether it would result

    Note - arson allows you to use two mental states: intent or reckless disregard
  19. Attempt
    • Two elements:
    • (1) a specific intent to commit the target offense; and
    • (2) a substantial step in furtherance of that intent

    Note - any time you have an Attempt-charge, specific intent is always required, even if the underlying crime has a looser mental state, such as arson

    Note - transferred intent does not apply to Attempt-crimes
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Criminal Law
Criminal Law
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