Actus Reus And The Guilty Act Essay
1.1. Actus Reus
The actus reus of an offense could be described as the guilty act; it encompasses all elements of the offense except for the state of mind of the defendant. There are different types of actus reus.
Conduct crimes are those with an actus reus concerning only a prohibited course of conduct, regardless of its consequences, for example driving whilst disqualified or rape. For the defendant to be found guilty, the actus reus must have been committed voluntarily.
For state of affairs crimes, the actus reus is about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’; it consists of circumstances and, sometimes, consequences, but no actual acts, for example driving when drunk.
For result crimes, the actus reus concerns the prohibited consequences of an act. In these cases, the prosecution must prove not only that the defendant committed a forbidden act in forbidden circumstance but also that his conduct caused the consequence of the offense.…