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49 Cards in this Set

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sources of Law: Where does the law come from?
1. constitutions
2. Statutory law
3. Case Law
4. Administrative law
state constitution
may provide greater protections that the federal constitution.
Bill of Rights
A constitutional after thought, first ten amendements
purpose of the constitution?
to provide structure for government. to set up government. set up the rights of individuals, powers/limits of the governments power
statutes
laws enacted by a legislative body
Federal legislative body
Congress
State legislative bodys
NYS legislature (albany), county legistlature, city legistlature, town legislature
Case law
written judicial decisions. Judges can only write dicsisions when there is a case in front of them. "Interpretation and application of the law"
Administrative/Regulatory law
IRS. administrative agency created by the US congress. Enacts regulations to interpret/ app.y laws.
How a judge makes a decision
1. look for definitions in the statute
2. look for prior case decisions
3. look for "legislative history" of the statute. (paper trail)
4. apply common sense (last resort)
where do you find definitions
general definition sections §10.00.
Begining of the Article where the offense appears. has a defintion section
What if its's a Case of first impression
look for what the legislature inteded the term to mean. "legislative intent"
how are ambiguities resolved?
they are resolved in favor of the defendant.
Ex post facto
after a person has committed an offense you cant change the law.
elements
basic building blocks of criminal offenses
what are the 4 elements
1. volentary act
2. culpable mental state
3. result
4. other circumstances
**DA must rove EACH element required.
Voluntary Act
includes "volunatrily induced involuntary act".
Omissions
failure to do something when you have a legal duty to do it. (included in voluntary acts)
culpable mental state
The state of mind of the person comitting the crime. there are 4 culpable mental states)1. Intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, and with criminal negligence
Intentionally
culpable mental state. Conscious objective to do something.
knowingly
the culpable mental state of acting with awareness
Recklessly
culpable mental state. defendant creates risk of harm. defendant si aware of rsik and conciously disregards it. risk must be substancial and unjustifyable.
disreguard of risk was a gross deviation form the standard of care that a normal person would give.
criminal negligence
culpable mental state. Fails to perceive the risk created by defendats conduct. the risk is substatial and unjustifyable, gross deviation from the normal standard of care.
strict liability offenses
no culpable mental state required.
how to determine strict liability offenses:
look for culpable mental state word s in the statute.
if there is no culpable mental state then read one in, if necessary. Its only a strict liability offenses if the legislature specifically says.
legislation
laws passed by an elected group of representatives. they tend to be much more detailed and complex than constitutions.
ordinances
legislatiion passed at the local level of government
binding court decisions
court decisions that come from a higher authority and lower courts are forced to follow.
regulatory/administrative law
legislative body gives authority to another government agency. usually created by an act of a legislative body.
jobs of the court
to interpret and apply the laws which have already been created though specific cases brought before it.
Penal law
part of the NY statutes that defines which conduct is criminal, under what circumstances, and sets up penaltys for those convicted of criminal conduct.
parts of penal law
broad catagorys of subject matter. part 1- general provisions. part 2- sentances, part 3- specfici offnese, part 4- administrative provisions
titles of the penal law
parts are subdivided into these. ____ 1 general purposes, rules of construction and definitions C defenses
sections
articles are further divided into these.
subdivisions
articles are further divided into these where needed.
citing the Penal law
cite only section and subdivisoin.
voluntary act
required for every criminal offense; this is the minimum requirement for impsing criminal liability.
culpable mental state
the state of mind of the actor at the time of the offense. most, but not all, require at leasxt one of these, some offenses require more than one.
result
some, but not all offenses require that a particular ***** oc ur from the actors conduct. the connection between the acotrs conduct and the resulting harm is called causation.
other circumstances
may offenses require that some other circumstances exsist.
strict liability offenses
an offense for which no culpable mental state is required. there are few because they conflict with our concept of lameorthiness as the basis for criminal liability.
causation
the connection between a prohibited act and the resulting harm. It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants conduct caused the required result.
People v. Erby
convicted of criminally negligent homicide. Erby punched george rush in the face in park after he imagined an insult from rush's girlfriend. erby punched him in the face and he fell hitting his head on the concrete. after sitting in a daze for 1/2 hr rush staggered home, the next morning he was found dead. medical examiner testifyed that the death occured from a fractured skull, cerebral contusins, epidural, subdural and subarchnoid hemmorhage, consistant w/ someone hitting their head on the sidewalk. *causation established. a person is criminally negligent when he fails to percieve a substancial and unjustifyable risk, that is a gross deviation from a resonable persons standard of care. the court of appeals reversed conviction and dismissed indictment b/c a it did not deviate from the standard of care that a reasonable person would give.
people v. Heinsohn.
appellate division decision. defendant convicted of manslaughter 2nd. defendant was driving an unregistered vechile at 14mph over the speed limit. after tailgating a van he pulled out into oncoming traffic in attempt to pass the van. . the defendant drove onto a safety island at the next intersection where he struck 2 pedestrians on the island. defendant testifyed that he was generally familiar with the area. did the defendant create a substancial and unjustifyable risk of which he was aware? the jury decided yes.
People v. Boutin
defendant convicted of criminally negligenct homicide when he failed to see a cehicle wiht which he collided and killed a cop and another person. It was dark, overcast, rainy, foggy, the roads were slushy and wet. defendant colliede with a police car killing 2. the cars lights were flashing but def. didnt see them. da presented witness who had seen the flashing lights, but many of them testifyed that they thought they were coming from the shoulder. the car was 1/2 in 1/2 out of the shoulder. and presented a witness who testifyed about the speed the defendant was traveling at, but there were inconsistancies with his trial and grand jury testimonys. defendants passenger testifyed that he did brake and didnt see the car. jury kept saying that they couldnt reach a verdict, but they did eventually. defendent is not blameworthy so it was overturned
People v. Kibbe
defendants convicted of murder, robbery2, and grand larceny3. Defendant was drinking in a bar in Rochester w/ George Stafford. bartender said stafford was drunk and flashing $100 bills. Stafford asked if someone would drive him to Canadaguia NY, the defendants agreed to drive himt there in his car. they went to another bar and didnt get served then stopped at one more for a couple more drinks before they left. Krall drove car, Kibbe demanded that Stafford trun over any moeny he had, he made his take off his shoes and pants to make sure he had no more money then made him get out of the car. . Kibbe put staffrds shoes and jacket on the shoulder of the highway, his eyeglasses were in the car still. temp was near 0. a college student michael blake hit Stafford, said he didnt see him b/c there was no lights and he was sitting in the road. died of head injurys. did people establish that the defendants act caused the death of stafford? yes, the harm should have been forseen as being reasonably related to the acts of the accused. it is not ncessary that the ulitmate harm be intenede by the actor.
causation
legal connection between defendants conduct and the required result. must be proved by da beyond a reasonable doubt. medical examiner must testify if they died.
motion to dismiss
allways asked for after da finishes presenting his evidence. trial order dissmissal
issue of people v. kibbe
was the result a forseagle consequence of the defendants conduct?. blame assesment.