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25 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Actus Reus - Common Law Rule
To meet the actus reus the act must be voluntary and conscious.
Omission - Common Law Rule
To be liable for an act of omission, there must be a legal duty to act.

Legal duty to act in the following situations:
S = statute requiring duty
C = contractual obligation to care for another
R = relationship (status)
A = when one has voluntarily assumed care, then secluded from others rendering aid
P = put in peril
Mens Rea - Common Law Rule
Mens Rea can be can be determined if the act was done purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently.
Mistake of Fact - Common Law Rule
A mistake of fact may offer exculpation (as in excuse) by allowing a criminal defendant some relief from liability for having broken the law.
Strict Liability - Common Law Rule
Strict liability, and therefore no need to prove mens rea, is generally more allowable in cases that don't involve imprisonment (or severe punishment).
Mistake of Law - Common Law Rule
Generally ignorance is not a defense, however a good faith misunderstanding of law may be an exception.
§ A statute is not published or reasonably available;
§ If the defendant reasonably relied on a statute or judicial decision;
§ If the defendant had a reasonable reliance on an official
Premeditation - Common Law Rule
Premeditation requires aforethought. It must be willful and deliberate.
Provocation - Common Law Rule
Only a few particular circumstances can serve as legally adequate provocation (e.g. battery, sudden mutual combat). Words alone rarely suffice. There is some concession to the frailty of human nature.
Extreme Emotional Disturbance - Common Law Rule
a minority of states adopted the EED mitigation, and many who did altered it significantly, notably requiring a provocative act and rejecting "the actor's situation" standard in favor a standard of the reasonable person.
Criminal Liability - Common Law Rule
Ordinary/Simple Negligence is not enough to constitute criminal negligence.
When Unintentional Killing Constitutes Murder, Rather Than Manslaughter - Common Law Rule
In many American statutes under which unintentional killing constitutes murder, rather than manslaughter, the language directly or by reference incorporates common law terms such as "malice" in the circumstances.
Attempt - Common Law Rule
An attempt requires a purpose (or "specific intent") to produce the proscribed result, even when recklessness or some lesser mens rea would suffice for conviction of the completed offense.
Preparation vs. Attempt - Common Law Rule
In the majority of cases, up to the act itself is considered merely acts of preparation.
Solicitation - Common Law Rule
Inciting, counseling, advising, inducing, urging, or commanding another to commit a felony with the specific intent that the person solicited commit the crime.
Impossibility - Common Law Rule
Legal impossibility is a defense to attempt. Factual impossibility is no defense to attempt.
Mens Rea for Actions of the Principal - Common Law Rule
To be guilty of aiding and abetting there must first be evidence of a conspiracy with the principal to commit the crime. However, an accomplice may be found guilty of an offense other than that originally intended as long as it was reasonably foreseeable (natural and probable consequence test).
Mens Rea for the Results and Attendant Circumstances - Common Law Rule
You can be found guilty of complicity if your reckless or negligent behavior contributes to the offense.
Actus Reus of Complicity - Common Law Rule
When someone acts to encourage another in the commission of an illegal act, they satisfy the actus reus of accomplice liability.
The Relationship between the Liability of the Parties - Common Law Rule
A person cannot be responsible for the act of another unless they had common motive and design. (with the possible exception of law enforcement agents).
Self-Defense Justification - Common Law Rule
To use deadly force the threat of death or serious bodily harm must be imminent, the defendant cannot be the initiator, and the threat must be a reasonable belief.
Protection of Law Enforcement - Common Law Rule
A law enforcement officer may match force with force. He may not inflict great bodily harm on someone who is fleeing, but not resisting. Deadly force may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.
Necessity (Choice of Evils) Defense - Common Law Rule
To invoke necessity defense, defendants must show that: they were faced with choice of evils and chose the lesser evil; they acted to prevent imminent harm; they reasonably anticipated a direct causal relationship between their conduct and the conduct to be averted; and they had no legal alternatives to violating the law.
Duress (Coercion) - Common Law Rule
Duress shall be a defense to a crime other than murder if the defendant engaged in conduct because he was coerced to do so by the use of, or threat to use, unlawful force against his person or the person of another, which a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist.
Voluntary Intoxication Defense - Common Law Rule
People charged with crimes that do not require specific intent cannot present evidence of intoxication if it is self-induced, and usually only if it of such an extremely high degree that it produce complete prostration of the faculties, otherwise it is incapable of negating specific intent.
Involuntary Intoxication Defense - Common Law Rule
It allows the defendant to assert a defense of involuntary insanity based on involuntary intoxication if the defendant was impaired to a degree sufficient to meet the test of legal insanity, otherwise no defense is available.