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30 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
5 ELEMENTS OF A CRIME:
ACTUS REUS
MENS REA
CAUSATION
RESULTS
ATTENDENT CIRCUMSTANCES
ACTUS REUS
1. ACTS OF COMMISSION – the commission of an act
2. ACTS OF OMISSION – the failure to act
DEFENSES TO ACTUS REUS (ACTS OF COMMISSION)
(1) Automatism – the cognitive part of the brain is not working, therefore the acts committed have no moral culpability
DEFENSES TO ACTUS REUS (ACTS OF OMISSION)
(1) Automatism
(2) No duty to act
(3) Where there is a duty to act, but an inability to do so
MENS REA
-the criminal mind
1. Because mens rea is about the mental state of the actor, the proof of that mental state is necessarily circumstantial
2. Actus Reus evidences this
DEFENSES TO MENS REA
(1) Mistakes
(2) Incapacity
MISTAKES
(1) Mistake of Fact – mistake as to some factual element of the crime
(i) Specific Intent – mistake need only be honest
(ii) General Intent
(a) Is the mistake an honest mistake?
(b) If the mistake is an honest mistake, is it a reasonable mistake?
(2) Mistake of Law – mistake as to some legal element of the crime
(i) No real mistake- not a defense
(3) Mistake can’t negate a malum prohibitum crime
(i) Malum in se – It is against the law because it is truly bad
(a) Think MR & MRS LAM crimes
(II) Malum prohibitum – It is against the law because we say it is
INCAPACITY
(1) Voluntary Intoxication
a. Partial defense to specific intent crimes
b. No defense to general intent crimes
(2) Involuntary Intoxication
a. complete defense because we can’t marry the mens rea to get drunk with with the actus reus of whatever was done
LEVELS OF CULPABILITY
a) Purposefully (Specific Intent)
(1) Acting with conscious purpose to obtain some illegal result
b) Knowingly (Specific Intent – Sometimes General Intent)
(1) Acting knowing that some illegal result is likely to occur
c) Recklessly (General Intent – Sometimes Specific Intent)
(1) Acting with disregard to a risk that the actor is aware of and the disregard of that risk falls below the norm of the normal law abiding citizen
d) Negligently (General Intent)
(1) Acting with a disregard to a risk that the actor SHOULD be aware of but isn’t, and not recognizing the risk is a gross deviation from the norm of a reasonable person
CAUSATION
a) Purpose – select from the pool of possible causers THE causer
(1) Criminal Law - Select the person who is the most dastardly
b) Intervening Cause – mens rea of the original actor has not yet come to rest
c) Superseding Cause – mens rea of the original actor has come to rest
DEFENSES TO CAUSATION
a) Superseding Cause – the acts of a third party interrupted the mens rea of the original actor (Intervention of third party)
b) Unforeseeability – the result was not foreseeable (negates proximate cause)
c) No Duty – there was no duty to act in the first place
RESULTS
1. Most crimes do not require a specific result
a) Exception – Homicide – death is a required result
DEFENSES TO RESULTS
1. Impossibility
2. Renunciation
IMPOSSIBILITY
(a) LEGAL – complete defense. Defendants intended end was in fact legal.
(i) E.g. - smuggling something that is not illegal is not attempt
(b) FACTUAL - defendant’s intended end constitutes a crime but fails to consummate it because of factual circumstance beyond their control
(i) Defendant is still guilty of the attempt
(c) HYBRID – goal is illegal, but commission is impossible because of a mistake about the legal status of some factor relevant to their conduct
RENUNCIATION
represents the dissipation of mens rea
(a) The renunciation must be complete
(b) Not enough that circumstances have made it difficult, or more costly (i.e., the cops show up so you decide to try later)
(c) Affirmative defense – burden is on the defendant to show by a preponderance of the evidence that his mens rea had completely dissipated
ATTENDENT CIRCUMSTANCES
Circumstances without which the crime could not exist
-person standing in front of your bullet
DEFENSES TO ATTENDENT CIRCUMSTANCES
a) Aggravation – certain circumstances aggravate the base crime, whether or not these circumstances are present may act as a defense to the required attendant circumstances
b) Mitigation – certain circumstances can mitigate the base crime, whether or not these circumstances are present may act as a defense to the crime charged
VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER
(a) ACTUS REUS – an act which causes the death of another
(b) MENS REA – state of mind not amounting to malice
(c) GRAVAMEN – protection of human life
(i) The causal
(ii) killing of
(iii) a human being
(iv) under a criminal state of mind WITHOUT MALICE
(a) heat of passion
(b) extreme emotional disturbance
(c) inadequate provocation
INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER
-INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER = GENERAL INTENT
(a) ACTUS REUS – an act which causes the death of another
(b) MENS REA – a lack of intent to kill or cause bodily injury
(c) GRAVAMEN – protection of human life
(i) The causal
(ii) killing of
(iii) a human being
(iv) contrary to the intention of the parties
(v1) during the execution of an unlawful act
(a) Limited to malum in se unlawful acts
(v2) OR during reckless or negligent performance of a lawful act.
MURDER
-MURDER = SPECIFIC INTENT
(1) ACTUS REUS – an act which causes the death of another
(2) MENS REA – malice aforethought
(3) GRAVAMEN – protection of human life
(A) The causal
(B) killing of
(C) Another, i.e., human being
(D) with "malice aforethought”
(4) Elements of First Degree Murder
(a) An intent-to-kill with malice aforethought homicide plus
(b) Deliberation: A cool mind that is capable of reflection and
(c) Premeditation: The cool mind did in fact reflect, at least for a short period of time before his act of killing
DEFENSES TO MURDER, MANSLAUGHTER
(1) SELF DEFENSE
(2) IMPERFECT SELF DEFENSE
(3) DEFENSE OF OTHERS
(4) DEFENSE OF HABITATION
(5) DEFENSE OF PROPERTY
(6) PREVENTION OF FELONY AND APPREHENSION OF DANGEROUS FELONS
SELF-DEFENSE
(i) Imminent
(ii) No avenue of escape (duty to retreat)
(iii) Cannot escalate (words to fists, fists to guns, etc)
(a) Can’t bring a weapon to the fight then claim self defense
(iv) Reasonable belief that other persons are attempting to use deadly force
(v) Reasonable belief that other persons are attempting to commit felony
IMPERFECT SELF DEFENSE
(i) If you are the provoker, defense is an imperfect one
(ii) If the use of deadly force was unreasonable, imperfect self defense
DEFENSE OF OTHERS
(i) Some jurisdictions hold the third person to stand in the shoes of the person being defended
(ii) Some jurisdictions allow for a reasonable belief on the part of that third person
DEFENSE OF HABITATION
Mere Trespass – only allowed to use non-deadly force
Committing a felony or inflicting great bodily harm upon an occupant of a house – can use deadly force
DEFENSE OF PROPERTY
Other property besides dwelling- cannot use deadly force, unless other defenses included
PREVENTION OF FELONY AND APPREHENSION OF DANGEROUS FELONS
Only applies to DANGEROUS felonies
BURGLARY
-BURGLARY = SPECIFIC INTENT
a) ACTUS REUS – breaking and entering
b) MENS REA – intent to commit a felony
c) GRAVAMEN
(i) personal safety
(ii) protect the dwelling place
(iii) gravamen of the felony to be committed therein
d) ELEMENTS
(i) The breaking, and
(ii) entering, of
(iii) the dwelling of,
(iv) another
(v) at night, (largely abrogated in modern statutes)
(vi) with the intent to commit a felony within
DEFENSE TO BURGLARY
License to enter
LARCENY
-LARCENY = SPECIFIC INTENT
a) ACTUS REUS – carrying away another person’s personal property
b) MENS REA – the intent to permanently deprive them of that property (intent to steal)
c) GRAVAMEN – keeping public order (preventing retribution for theft)
(i) taking (exercise of dominion and control, directly or indirectly)
(ii) by trespass (without consent) and
(iii) carrying away
(iv) of the tangible, personal property
(v) of another
(vi) with intent to permanently deprive