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Reference Guide

Permachart - Marketing Reference Guide: Model Penal Code, Malice Aforethought, Unlawful Killing

4 pages444 viewsFall 2015

Department
LAW
Course Code
LAW 405
Professor
All
Chapter
Permachart

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l e a r n r e f e r e n c e r e v i e w
TM
permacharts
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CRIMINAL LAW A-624-6
1
PA RTIE S TO C RI ME S
Criminal Law
Criminal Law
permacharts.com
Principal
First degree: Commits the crime
Second degree: Person present
during felony
• Aids and abets in commission
• Does not take part in felony
Accessory
Before the fact: Counsels
commission of felony
• Not present when committed
After the fact: Assists person after
commission
• Knowledge of the felony
EL EM EN TS O F AC TS
WH AT I S A CR IM E?
ELEMENTS OF A CRIME
CL AS SI FI CATION O F OF FE NS ES
• An act can only be considered a criminal offense if it
has previously been made a crime, either by statute
or common law
• In some jurisdictions, common law crimes are not
treated as crimes unless made so by statute
• The language of the law must give adequate warning
of the conduct prohibited and mark boundaries
sufficiently distinct for judges and juries to fairly
administer the law
• The person accused of the crime must be deemed
legally capable of committing a crime
• To constitute a crime, the act in question must be
accompanied by a specified punishment
• A crime is an act or omission in violation of a public
law that commands or forbids that act or omission
PARTIES TO A CRIME
• Principal Accessory • Any other party
designated by statute
COMMON LAW: PARTIES GUILTY OF FELONIES
COMMON LAW: VERDICTS FOR PARTIES INVOLVING ANY CRIME
• In general, the distinction between principal and accessory is
not important
• Under the Model Penal Code, a person is held accountable when the
accused causes another to act, a statute makes the accused
accountable or the accused participated in commission of crime by
soliciting, aiding in commission, and failing to prevent commission
when there was a duty to do so
STATUTORY CHANGES OF COMMON LAW
Verdict Party
Innocent
Culpable Perpetrator causes crime to be committed with criminal
intent
Abettor is present when crime is committed, ready to
aid perpetrator, with criminal intent
Inciter encourages another to commit a crime with
criminal intent, although not present when crime is
committed
Criminal protector assists criminal after crime is
committed; not tainted with guilt when crime is
perpetrated
Class Description
Treason Waging war against the United States,
or giving aid and comfort to enemies
during war; punishable by death or
imprisonment
Felony An offense punishable by death or
imprisonment in a state penitentiary or
correctional institution for a period of
more than one year
Misdemeanor Any crime below the grade of a felony;
not punishable in a state penitentiary
Petty offense Below grade of misdemeanor; not
an offense
OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS
Acts mala
in se
Any acts that are considered wrong in
themselves, based upon principles of
natural, moral, and public law
Acts mala
prohibita
Acts that would not be wrong but for
the fact that positive law forbids them
Acts of moral
turpitude
Acts of baseness or depravity in the
social duties that an individual owes to
fellow citizens or society in general
• Distinguished by the circumstances under which the
crime was committed, and not by a substantial
difference in the particular act
DEGREE OF CRIME
Prohibited act
(actus reus)
Conscious, intentional act, or failure to act where legal
duty requires act
Criminal intent
(mens rea)
Intentional act not wrong by itself is adequate for
statutory misdemeanors (e.g., selling liquor to a minor)
• Intentional commission of act with general intent to
commit a wrongful act (e.g., voluntary manslaughter)
• Intentional commission of act with specific intent
(e.g., burglary) • Criminal negligence is gross negligence,
which is an unreasonably high risk to others
Malice: Voluntary act without justification intending
to injure
Model Penal Code: Intent classified by act done
either purposely, knowingly, recklessly or negligently
Causation The accused’s act must be proximate cause of
prohibited result to hold the accused responsible (“but
for” test used)
Corpus delicti Body of the crime: Specific act has occurred that the
law prohibits, such as person being killed or property
stolen • Some person caused the prohibited act; it is
not an act of God
Burden of
proof
The prosecution must prove every element of crime
beyond a reasonable doubt
Notes: Please be advised that this chart does not account for
jurisdictional differences It is and information tool that should
be supplemented by more comprehensive materials
and/or professional legal counsel
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