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Elements of Crimes
(a) Types
(b) Elements
Felonies are punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year;
misdemeanors are all other crimes.

For all crimes, must show:
Actus Reus,
Mens Rea,

Due Process requires proof of each element "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Elements of Crimes
Actus Reus
Voluntary acts or results achieved;
excludes: thoughts, involuntary acts, status (like status of being a drug addict).

Possession crimes require dominion, control, and knowledge of item.

Actual knowledge, guilty belief, and willful blindness suffice.

Omissions (failure to act): criminal if a duty to act by statute, court order, blood relationship, contract, creating peril, or undertaking rescue.
Elements of Crimes
Mens Rea

*7 things*
Defendants state of mind which occurs with act to establish criminal conduct.

Specific Intent: purposeful act, intent to achieve a particular result;
applies to all inchoate (begun, not finished) crimes and theft offenses, burglary, assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping.

General Intent:  knowing act, mere intention to commit the act: applies to rape, battery.

Recklessness: Awareness and disregard as a known, substantial, unjustifiable risk;
Applies to involuntary manslaughter.

Negligence: Should have known of the substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm that activity involves.

Malice: intentional or wanton conduct;
applicable to murder, arson, mayhem.

Strict Liability health, safety, statutory rape.
Elements of Crimes
Mens Rea
(a) Transferred Intent
Holds Defendant liable for intending to cause harm to one person, but mistakenly harming another;
also applies to an intended harm which occurs in an unintended way;
does not apply to attempt crimes.
Elements of Crimes
Mens Rea
(b) Strict Liability Crime
No mens rea required;
Usually applied to crimes regarding public morals, health, and safety.

Mistake of law or fact irrelevant.

Examples:  statutory rape, child pornography, food protection statutes.
Elements of Crimes
Actus reus and mens rea must occur at the same time.
Elements of Crimes
Criminal Causation
(a) Factual Cause
(b) Proximate Cause
Criminal Causation:
Applies to all crimes except inchoate crimes.

(a) Factual Cause:
"but for" and "substantial factor" test

(b) Proximate Cause:
Connection between conduct and result must not be too remote.
"Year-and-a-day rule" applied to homicide.
Elements of Crimes
Criminal Causation
(c) Intervening Factors
(c) Intervening Factors
Can break chain of causation if unforseeable, unuusal, and injury suffered different from what intended.

Failure of parties to intervene or rescue never breaks chain of causation.
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes
Mental incapacity,
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes

Legal conclusion based on medical evidence;
overcomes presumption of competence and responsibility.

Some states place burden on Defendant.

M'Naghten (right/wrong test): Mental disease so that nature and quality of act not understood or did not know act was wrong.

Irresistible Impulse: Substantial impairment of Defendant's ability to control self.

Durham rule: act a product of mental disease or defect.

ALI/MPC test: mental disease or defect resuling in Defendant lacking substantial capacity to either appreciate criminality of conduct or conform conduct to requirements of law.
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes
(a) Insanity Distinguished
Insanity distinguished from Competency to Stand Trial:
Measured by Defendant's ability to understand proceedings against him and assist counsel in his defense.

State can presume competency and shift burden to defendant to show incompetency by preponderance of evidence.

Insanity at time of execution prevents execution.

Diminished capacity is a defense (including voluntary intoxication) which negates specific intent, premeditation, and malic aforethought;
reduces culpability to a less severe offense.
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes
At C/L, over 14 treated as adults;
7-14 rebuttably presumed lacking capacity;
under 7 conclusively presumed lacking capacity

Voluntary intoxication admissible to show that D did not have requisite specific intent;
involuntary intoxication also negates specific intent if slight, a complete excuse if great impairment.
Note: due process does not require the jury to consider voluntary intoxication when determining the mental state for a murder conviction (Egelhof; plurality opinion)
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes
(a) Of law
(b) Of fact
Mistake of Law:
No defense even if reasonable unless traceable to information from high level of government.

Mistake of Fact:
If honest and reasonable, may excuse conduct which would not have been illegal or morally wrong if facts were as Defendant mistakenly believed them to be.

Legal Impossibility:
Complete defenese

Factual impossibility:
No defense if there would have been a crime had facts been what Defendant assumed them to be.
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes
Duress or Coercion
If under an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

Not permitted for acts involving serious violence, rape, or homicide.

May negate premeditation for 1st degree murder.
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes
Excuse for non-serious crimes (not mayhem or homicide).

Not effective when consent received by force, threat, or fraud.
Defenses to Crimes
Excuses to Crimes
No defense if Defendant had subjective "predisposition" for crime (federal position).

Some states use objective test, if innocent person would have been induced to commit crimes.

Not applicable to any crime involving serious physical injury.
Defenses to Crimes
Public or domestic authority, self-defense;
Defense of others or of property;
crime preveention, necessity.
Defenses to Crimes
Public & Domestic Authority
Public Authority:
State authorization to act (execution, war, law enforcement).

Domestic Authority:
Domestic authority permits parents and school officials to use reasonable force to achieve discipline.
Defenses to Crimes
(a) Deadly Force
Non-deadly force permitted to prevent an imminent physical attack.
Aggressors forfeit defense unless victim responds to non-deadly attack with deadly force or aggressor withdraws and communicates withdrawal to the adversary.

(a) Deadly Force: Only where necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury, or to prevent commission of a violent felony or escape of violent felon.
An imperfect defense (honest but unreasonable belief) results in voluntary manslaughter.
Defenses to Crimes
Defense of Others
Defense of Property
Defense of Others:
Reasonable non-deadly force;
Mistake of fact possible.

Defense of Property:
Reasonable non-deadly force to prevent imminent trespass or taking.
Deadly force only if within dwelling and reasonable.
Defenses to Crimes
Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention:
Deadly force only with violent felony;
non-deadly force if reasonably necessary to prevent crime.

Invasion of other's property rights permitted to avoid an even greater evil.
Never a defense to homicide
Inchoate Crimes
Solicitation, attempt, conspiracy.

All require specific intent!

Solicitation and attempt merge into completed offense, conspiracy does not merge.
Inchoate Crimes
Enticing, advising, encouraging another to commit a crime.

Some instigation beyond mere encouragement.

Vicarious liability applies and colicitor will be deemes accomplice for attempt or actual crime.

Merges with accomplice or conspiracy liability if crime actually committed.

Withdrawal ineffective for solicitation (but may negate accomplice liability)
Inchoate Crimes
Substantial but unsuccessful effort to commit a crime.

Merges into completed crime.

Factual Impossibility never a defense, legal impossibility a defense in some states.

Many states reject impossibility defense if crime existed were facts as defendant believed them to be.

Abandonment/withdrawal only if done far enough from completed crime and not in fear of immediate apprehension.
Inchoate Crimes
Agreement by two or more persons to commit an unlawful act (or a lawful act in an unlawful manner).

Some overt act required (less than for attempt).

Intent to agree + specific intent to achieve unlawful result.

Does not merge into completed offense.

If crime itself needs two persons (adultery, bigamy, etc.), Wharton's Rule says no conspiracy unless 3 participants.
Inchoate Crimes
(a) Vicarious Liability
(For Conspiracy)
Co-conspirators are vicariously liable for acts of others.

Pinkerton holds all co-conspirators liable for substantive crimes committed in furtherance of conspiracy if reasonably forseeable as a natural consequence of the agreement.

Renunciation a defense only if conspiracy actually thwarted.
Non-Homocide Crimes (against the person)
Statutory Rape,
False Imprisonment,
Non-Homocide Crimes (against the person)
Attempted battery or causing apprehension of immediate battery.
Non-Homocide Crimes (against the person)
Bodily injury or offensive touching of another.

General intent.
Non-Homocide Crimes (against the person)
Maimed or disfiguring another with malice.
Non-Homocide Crimes (against the person)
Rape & Statutory Rape
Non-consentual sexual intercourse involving penetration.
General intent.
Husbands charged with conspiracy or accomplice liability.
Modern states (including CA) hold that husbands can commit rape.

Statutory Rape:
Strict liability crime of intercourse with a minor.
Some states permit "honest and reasonable" belief in age as a defense.
Consent is never a defense.
Non-Homocide Crimes (against the person)
False Imprisonment
Force or threat of force to confine another (any significant interference with freedom of movement);
includes physical barriers, threats, and show of authority (badge, uniform)
Non-Homocide Crimes (against the person)
False imprisonment + asportation (removing item from one place to another) by force, threat, or fraud.
Homicide Crimes
Unlawful killing:
Murder (1st and 2nd degrees);
Voluntary manslaughter, Involuntary manslaughter.
Homicide Crimes
(a) First Degree
(b) Second Degree
Unjustifiable homicide with malice.
Malice includes intent to kill or inflict grave bodily harm, wanton behavior, or imputed malice via the felony-murder rule.

1st Degree Murder: Specific intent to kill + premeditation and deliberation;
enumerated crimes like poison, torture, ambush, bomb;
Felony murder involving inherently dangerous & enumerated felonies.

2nd Degree Murder: Intentional murder without premeditation:
wanton murders;
felony murder (dangerous but not enumerated);
intent to do great bodily harm
Homicide Crimes
Felony Murder
Death proximately caused by acts during attempt or perpetration of a dangerous or enumerated felony (arson, robbery, burglary, rape, mayhem).

If mens rea for felony shown, then malice for murder is imputed.

Unforseeable intervening acts can break causation;
deaths by police or victim don't count in some jurisdictions
Homicide Crimes
(a) Voluntary & Involuntary
Voluntary Manslaughter:
Intentional homicide without malice because done under circumstances of provocation (heat of passion, emotional upset, sudden quarrel) or unreasonable self-defense.
Intent to seriously injure or create a high risk of death or serious injury counts.

Involuntary Manslaughter: Unintentional homicide;
Gross negligence and intent to commit non-serious bodily harm counts.
Real Property Crimes
Trespassory breaking and entering of dwelling home of another at night with intent to commit a felony or larceny therein (petty theft included);
Includes entry by fraud, trick, threat, or instrument;
actual felony need not be accomplished;
elements loosened by statute.
Real Property Crimes
Malicious burning of dwelling house of another;
malice includes intent or reckless burning (not accidents or negligence).

Moderly extended to non-habited structures.
Personal Property Crimes
False pretenses,
Receiving stolen property,
Personal Property Crimes
Trespassory taking and carrying away of another's personal property with intent to permanently deprive.
Intent can be formed after the actual taking.

Larceny by Trick:
Owner induced to part with possession by fraud, trick, or deception.
Personal Property Crimes
Fraudulent conversion of rightfully possesssed property.

Intent formed after legal possession.

Intent to permanently deprive not required.

(The major difference between larceny and embezzlement is the way in which the property changes hands. With larceny, the property is carried away; it was never in the possession of the perpetrator. With embezzlement, however, the perpetrator has lawfully possessed the property, but then has converted it into his/her own property.)
Personal Property Crimes
False Pretenses
Obtaining possession and title by a known fase statement of past or present fact.

Title must be passed.
Personal Property Crimes
Difference between, Larceny, Robbery, Burglarly, & Conversation--define all together.
Larceny of personal property from the person or presence of another by use of force or intimidation.
Larceny -The unlawful taking and carrying away of someone else's personal property with the intent to deprive the possessor of it permanently.

Robbery - The illegal taking of property from the person of another, or in the person's presence, by violence or intimidation. (note the emphasis on person being there is some way)

Burglary - At common law, it was defined as breaking and entering another's dwelling at night with the intent to commit a felony. The modern definition is breaking and entering any building with the intent to commit a felony. (not just a dwelling, and not only at night )

Conversion - The act of changing from one form to another. In this context, however, I think the specific definition you want is that it's a form of wrongly taking, wrongly detaining, or wrongly disposing of someone elses property.
Personal Property Crimes
Use of threat other than immediate physical injury to acquire property or induce some service.
Personal Property Crimes
Receiving Stolen Property
Receiving stolen property knowingly or having reason to know it is stolen (attempt only if property not stolen)
Personal Property Crimes
Making a false writing have actual or apparent legal significance
(vs. intrinsic, historical, or artistic value)
Personal Property Crimes
Offering as genuine an instrument known to be false.
Crimes against Morality
Crimes against Justice
Breach of Peace,
Unlawful Assembly,
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