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47 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
State acquires jurisdiction to adjudicate the crime if that state is the legal situs of the crime

1) Conduct happened there

2) Result happened there

- Crimes of omission – jurisdiction lies where the act should have been performed
1) Generally, there is no merger of crimes in American law

2) BUT solicitation and attempt merge into the substantive offense

- i.e. you cannot be charged for both attempting a crime, and that crime

3) Conspiracy does not merge with the substantive offense

- i.e. you can be charged with conspiracy to rob and robbery

- Never merge any crimes that have different victims
Physical Act
An act can be any bodily movement

These acts do not qualify for criminal liability:

1) Conduct which is not the product of your own volition
- Ex. being pushed

2) Reflexive or convulsive act
- Ex. seizure

3) Act performed while unconscious or asleep
- Ex. sleepwalking

Omission as an “act” (legal duty to act)
Legal duty to act (five circumstances)
1) Statute

2) Contract

3) Relationship between the parties

- Parent – have a duty to protect child

- Spouse – have a duty to protect each other

4) Voluntary assumption of care; failing to adequately perform

5) Conduct created the peril
Mental State
1)Specific Intent


3)General Intent

4)Strict Liability
Specific Intent
Qualifies for additional defenses not available for other kinds of crime
- Voluntary intoxication, any mistake of fact

Specific Intent Crimes:

1) Inchoate offenses
- Solicitation
- Conspiracy
- Attempt

2) First Degree Murder (not “murder”)

3) Assault (as attempted battery)

4) Felonies Against Property
- Larceny
- Embezzlement
- False pretenses
- Robbery
- Burglary
- Forgery
Murder and Arson

- “Murder” by itself means common law murder, aka second degree murder
General Intent
Catch-all category (if crime does not fall into any other category)
- Ex. rape and battery
Strict Liability
1) If the crime is in the administrative, regulatory or morality area

- Will not see adverbs (“knowingly”, “willfully”, “intentionally”)

2) No intent crimes – any defense that negates intention can’t be a defense to strict liability

- Ex. mistake of fact – because mistake of fact is only a defense if it negates intention
Transferred Intent
1) Where defendant intends the harm that is actually caused, but to a different victim or object

2) There is usually two crimes (never merge any crimes that have different victims)

- Completed crime against the actual victim

- Attempt against the intended victim
Accomplice Liability
Accomplices are liable for the crime itself and all other foreseeable crimes

- Never give anyone accomplice liability just because they are present during the crime.

- Accomplice must be actively in on the crime
Inchoate Offenses
1) Solicitation

2) Conspiracy

3) Attempt

- Specific Intent crimes
- Inchoate Offense

- Specific Intent

Asking someone to commit a crime
- Crime ends when you ask them

What if they agree to do it?
- It becomes a conspiracy and solicitation merges
Conspiracy (overview)
- Inchoate offense
- Specific Intent

- Elements:

1)An agreement

2)Intent to agree

3)An intent to pursue the UNLAWFUL OBJECTIVE
Liability (Conspiracy)
Each conspirator is liable for all the crimes of co-conspirators if those crimes were:

1) Committed in furtherance of the conspiracy

2) Foreseeable
Agreement (Conspiracy)
The agreement does not have to be express

- No written or spoken words of agreement are needed

- Various people can be in a conspiracy even if they don’t know each other
Overt Act (Conspiracy)
1) Majority rule – in order to ground liability for conspiracy, there must be an agreement plus an overt act (beyond the agreement itself, in furtherance of the conspiracy)

- Any act will do (Ex. showing up at the place you agreed to rob; making a telephone call to recruit others)

2) Minority/Common Law Rule – ground liability for conspiracy with the agreement itself
Defenses (Conspiracy)
1) Impossibility is no defense to conspiracy

2) Withdrawal

- Even if it is adequate, can never withdraw the defendant from liability for the conspiracy itself

- Defendant can withdraw from liability for the other conspirators’ subsequent crimes
Consent of the victim
Is rarely a colorable defense
- Inchoate Offense

- Specific Attempt

Attempt = specific intent + substantial step beyond mere preparation (in the direction of the commission of the crime)

- Mere preparation for crime cannot ground liability for attempt
Defense to all crimes, including the strict liability crimes

1) M’Naghten Rule: At the time of his conduct defendant lacked the ability to know the wrongfulness of his actions OR to understand the nature and quality of his action

2) Irresistible Impulse: Defendant lacked the capacity for self control and free choice

3) Durham Rule: Defendant’s conduct was a product of a mental illness

4) Model Penal Code: Defendant lacked ability to conform his conduct to the requirements of law
1) Voluntary
- Self-induced intoxication (includes addicts and alcoholics)
- Defense only to specific intent crimes

2) Involuntary – a form of insanity
- Without knowledge or under duress
- Defense to all crimes, including the strict liability crimes
1) Under 7, no criminal liability

2) Under 14, rebuttable presumption of no criminal liability

On Test: almost every infancy answer is wrong
Self-Defense (general)
1) Nondeadly Force
- A victim may use nondeadly force in self-defense any time that victim reasonably believes that force is about to be used on them

2) Deadly Force

- Majority rule – allows a victim to use deadly force in self-defense any time that victim reasonably believes that deadly force is about to be used on them

- Minority rule – requires a victim, before using deadly force, to retreat if it is safe to do so

- Exception to retreat
1) You are in your home
2) Victim of a rape or robbery
3) Police officers
Capacity Defenses
1) Insanity

2) Intoxication

3) Infancy
1) Self-Defense

2) Duress

3) Consent

4) Entrapment

5) Mistake of Fact
Self-Defense by Original Aggressor
Only if the original aggressor both:

1) Withdraws

2) Communicates withdrawal to original victim
Defense of a Dwelling
Deadly force may never be used solely to defend property

On Test: spring guns
Defendant reasonably believed that someone would imminently inflict death or great bodily harm if he did not commit the crime

Defense to all crimes except homicide
Mistake of Fact
Only a defense when it negates intent

1) Specific Intent: Any mistake, reasonable or unreasonable

2) Malice and General Intent: Reasonable mistake only

3) Strict Liability: Never a defense
Completed assault

General intent, never strict liability
1) Attempted battery
- specific intent
- Ex. attempt to hit someone and they move

2) Threat
– general intent
- Ex. Threaten with bodily injury
Murder (Four Types)
1) Intent to kill

2) Intent to inflict serious bodily harm

3) Highly reckless, depraved heart (substantial likelihood)

4) Felony murder
Limitations on Felony Murder
1) Defendant must be guilty of underlying felony
- If the defendant has a defense to underlying felony, he has a defense to felony murder

2) Felony must be independent of killing

3) Death must be foreseeable

4) Death must occur before the felony is over
- Deaths caused while fleeing from a felony are felony murder
- Once the defendant reaches a place of temporary safety, deaths caused thereafter are not felony murder

5) Defendant is not liable for the death of a co-felon
- Resistance by victim or police (if victim accidentally kills innocent bystander when attempting to kill felons, liable)
1) Voluntary
- Provoked killing
- Never use label “voluntary” unless there is passion

2) Involuntary
- Killings from criminal negligence
- Ex. falling asleep while driving car

3) Misdemeanor manslaughter
– Killing someone while you are committing a misdemeanor or an unenumerated felony (not in felony murder statute)

1) Criminal plan originated with law enforcement

2) Defendant was not predisposed

- Almost never available because predisposition negates entrapment
First Degree Murder
Statutory Modification of Common Law

On Test: It will be labeled “first degree murder”

- Set of statutes that define first degree murder
The slightest penetration completes the crime of rape
Statutory Rape
Strict liability

Consent is no defense
Property Offenses
1) Larceny

2) Embezzlement

3) False Pretenses

4) Robbery

5) Extortion
Specific intent


1) Wrongful taking of the personal property of another

2) Carrying away (asportation)

3) Without consent
- Consent gained by fear or fraud is not valid

4) Intent to deprive owner permanently of his interest in the property
- Intent must exist at the time of the taking

Not larceny: Taking property in the belief that it is yours or that you have some right to it (any mistake, reasonable or unreasonable)
1) Lawful possession
- Ex. trustee

2) Illegal conversion
- Does not require carrying away or defendant benefiting

Possession only, not title
False pretenses
1) Conveyance of title

2) By false statement as to a present or past fact

- Not a promise for something in the future

Defendant takes title
Larceny + assault


1) Wrongful taking of the personal property of another

2) Carrying away

3) Without consent

4) Intent to deprive owner permanently of his interest in the property

5) From the person or his presence
- Presence is very broadly drawn

6) By force or intimidation

- Force: any amount of violence is enough (not pick-pocketing)

- Intimidation: putting in fear by threat of imminent harm

Distinguish from robbery

1) Does not have to be from person or his presence

2) Threat – future harm
1) Breaking
- Actual – by force, however slight
- Constructive – by fraud (Ex. key to housekeeper who enters later with other people)
- If the door or window is wide open, there is no “breaking.” But once defendant opens an interior door, that is “breaking”

2) Entering
- Any part of defendant’s body

3) Dwelling house of another

4) At night

5) With intent to commit felony inside
- Intent must exist at the time of breaking and entering
1) Malicious burning
- Fire only (not water damage, smoke damage or explosions)

2) Of dwelling house of another
- Must be a material wasting of fiber of the building by fire (not carpets)
- Not your own house