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What are the typical elements of a crime?
1) act or omission(actus reus); 2) mental state (mens rea); and 3) concurrence of act and mental state. * *May also require proof of a result and causation.
What is the actus reus?
1) Voluntary physical act; or 2) Omission under a legal duty to act.
When can D be held liable for an omission?
1) There is a specific duty act imposed by law; 2) D has knowledge of the facts giving rise to the duty to act; and 3) It is reasonable to perform the duty.
What can give rise to a duty to act?
1) Statue (eg, file taxes) 2) Contract (eg, life guard) 3) Relationship with victim (eg, parents, spouses) 4) Voluntary assumption of care for the victim 5) Creation of peril for the victim (eg, pushing someone in river)
What are the 3 mental states recognized at common law?
1) Specific intent 2) Malice 3) General intent
What constitutes specific intent?
Intent to engage in crime.
What are the major specific intent crimes?
BRAM ACTS B = Burglary R = Robbery A = Attempt M = Murder (1st Degrees) A = Arson C= Conspiracy T = Theft (Larceny, Robbery, etc) S = Solicitation
What mental state is required the crime when attempted is not specific?
With any charge of attempt specific intent must be proven, even though if the crime is not specific intent.
What constitutes malice?
reckless disregard of an obvious or high risk that the particular harmful result will occur.
What are the major malice crimes?
1) Murder 2) Arson
What are the major general intent crimes?
1) Battery 2) Rape 3) Kidnapping 4) False Imprisonment 5) Assault (threatened harm)
What is general intent?
Intending to do all factors constituting the crime.
How can general intent be proven?
A jury may infer the required general intent merely from the doing of the act.
When can D be held liable via transferred intent?
When he intend harm that is actually caused, but the harm occurs to different victim or object. * *Doctrine applies to homicide, battery, and arson. * *Always results in 2 crimes, the one committed and the one attempted.
What is a strict liability offense?
One that does not require intent/awareness of all of the factors constituting the crime. (i.e., no intent required... just doing the act is enough) * *statutory rape, selling liquor to minors, etc.
What is a vicarious liability offense?
One in which a person with or without personal fault is held liable for criminal conduct of another (usually an employee).
What is the MPC standard on intent?
It eliminates general/specific intent distinction and adopts the following categories: 1) Purposely 2) Knowingly 3) Recklessly 4) Negligently
When does a person act purposely?
When his conscious objective is to engage in certain conduct or cause a certain result. * * purposely = to common law specific intent
When does a person act knowingly?
When a D is aware that his conduct is of a particular nature or knows it is very likely to cause a result. * * equivalent to common law malice
When does a person act recklessly?
When he knows of a substantial and unjustifiable risk and consciously disregards it.
When does a person act with negligence?
When he fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk, where such failure is a substantial deviation from the standard of care. (objective standard)
What is the significance of concurrence of the mental fault and physical act?
D must have the necessary intent for the crime at the time he committed the act constituting the crime.
Who are the parties to the crime under most modern statutes?
1) Principle (person who commits the offense) 2) Accomplice (person who aids or encourages the principle - active involvement) 3) Accessory (person who aids another to escape, knowing he has committed a felony)
What is the scope of accomplice liability?
He is responsible for: 1) the crimes he committed or encourage the principal to do; and 2) any other foreseeable crimes committed by the principle in the course of committing the crime contemplated.
What is the liability of an accessory?
Liable for separate, less serious crime of being an accessory after the fact.
What mental state is required to be liable as an accomplice?
Most jurisdictions require that the person acted with the intent to encourage the crime.
Is the inability to be a principal a bar to accomplice liability?
No. (eg, a woman can be an accomplice to rape)
What is necessary for withdrawal by an accomplice to be an effective defense?
1) Repudiation if party merely encouraged; 2) Attempt to neutralize assistance or notifying the police is required otherwise;
Who is excluded from accomplice liability?
1) Members of the protected class 2) Necessary parties not provided for (eg, if sale but not purchase of drugs is illegal, the purchaser can\'t be an accomplice) 3) Party who withdraws before the crime becomes unstoppable
What are the inchoate crimes?
1) Solicitation 2) Conspiracy 3) Attempt
What are the elements of solicitation?
1) Inciting, counseling, urging, or commanding another to commit a crime, 2) with the intent that the person actually commit it. * *act is completed upon asking.
Is it a defense that the person solicited is not convicted or the offense could not have been successful?
No.
Is withdrawal a defense to solicitation?
No.
Does the crime of solicitation merge?
Yes, the solicitor cannot be punished for both solicitation and attempt, conspiracy, or the crime committed.
What are the elements of conspiracy?
1) An agreement between 2 or more persons; 2) An intent to enter into the agreement; and 3) An intent by at least 2 person to achieve the objective of the agreement 4) An overt act in furtherance (majority and NY rule)
What is necessary for an agreement in a conspiracy?
The parties must agree to accomplish the same objective by mutual action. * *can be inferred from joint activity
What is the Wharton Rule?
Where 2 or more people are necessary for commission of the offense (eg, adultery) there is no crime unless more parties agree to the crime than necessary.
What is the conspiracy rule regarding protected classes?
The nonprotected person cannot be guilty if the agreement was only with the protected person.
What is the effect of acquittal of some conspirators?
If D is charged and all others have been acquitted, D cannot be convicted.
Can a person conspire with an undercover police officer?
Generally No, because only D intended that the object crime be completed.
What is the MPC approach to conspiracy?
D can be convicted of conspiracy regardless of whether the other parties have all been acquitted or were feigning agreement.
What intent is required for conspiracy?
Specific intent to: 1) agree 2) achieve the object of the conspiracy.
What is the scope of a conspirator\'s liability?
May be liable for crimes of other conspirators if: 1) They were committed in furtherance of the objective of the conspiracy; and 2) They were foreseeable.
When does the conspiracy terminate?
Upon completion of the wrongful objective.
Is withdrawal a defense to conspiracy?
No, but may be a defense to crimes in furtherance of the conspiracy and the target crime.
Does the merger doctrine apply to conspiracy?
No, there\'s no merger.
What are the elements of attempt?
1) An overt act 2) Done with intent to commit a crime 3) That falls short of completing the crime
What is the mental state required for attempt?
An attempt always requires a specific intent. * *Regardless of the intent necessary for the completed offense
What will constitute an overt act for attempt?
D must commit an act beyond mere preparation, as measured by the proximity test or the substantial step test.
What is the proximity test for attempt?
The act must be dangerously close to completion of the crime. (traditional view)
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