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Reference Guide

Criminal Law - Reference Guides

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Murdoch University
LAW 405

l e a r n • r e f e r e n c e • r e v i e w permacharts TM CCriminal Law WHAT IS A CRIME? PARTIES TO CRIMES • A crime is an act or omission in violation of a public COMMON LAW: PARTIES GUILTY OF FELONIES law that commands or forbids that act or omission Principal Accessory ELEMENTS OF A CRIME First degree: Commits the crime Before the fact: Counsels Second degree: Person present commission of felony • An act can only be considered a criminal offense if it during felony • Not present when committed has previously been made a crime, either by statute or common law • Aids and abets in commission After the fact: Assists person after • In some jurisdictions, common law crimes are not • Does not take part in felony commission treated as crimes unless made so by statute • Knowledge of the felony • The language of the law must give adequate warning of the conduct prohibited and mark boundaries COMMON LAW: VERDICTS FOR PARTIES INVOLVING ANY CRIME sufficiently distinct for judges and juries to fairly administer the law Verdict Party • The person accused of the crime must be deemed Innocent legally capable of committing a crime — • To constitute a crime, the act in question must be accompanied by a specified punishment Culpable Perpetrator causes crime to be committed with criminal intent PARTIES TO A CRIME Abettor is present when crime is committed, ready to aid perpetrator, with criminal intent • Principal • Accessory • Any other party Inciter encourages another to commit a crime with designated by statute criminal intent, although not present when crime is committed Criminal protector assists criminal after crime is CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENSES committed; not tainted with guilt when crime is perpetrated Class Description STATUTORY CHANGES OF COMMON LAW Treason Waging war against the United States, • In general, the distinction between principal and accessory is or giving aid and comfort to enemies during war; punishable by death or not important imprisonment • Under the Model Penal Code, a person is held accountable when the accused causes another to act, a statute makes the accused Felony An offense punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary or accountable or the accused participated in commission of crime by p correctional institution for a period of soliciting, aiding in commission, and failing to prevent commission more than one year when there was a duty to do so e Misdemeanor Any crime below the grade of a felony; r not punishable in a state penitentiary ELEMENTS OF ACTS m Petty offense Below grade of misdemeanor; not an offense a Prohibited act Conscious, intentional act, or failure to act where legal c (actus reus) duty requires act OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS h Criminal intent Intentional act not wrong by itself is adequate for a Acts mala Any acts that are considered wrong in (mens rea) statutory misdemeanors (e.g., selling liquor to a minor) in se themselves, based upon principles of • Intentional commission of act with general intent to r natural, moral, and public law commit a wrongful act (e.g., voluntary manslaughter) t • Intentional commission of act with specific intent Acts mala Acts that would not be wrong but for (e.g., burglary) • Criminal negligence is gross negligence, s prohibita the fact that positive law forbids them which is an unreasonably high risk to others . Acts of moral Acts of baseness or depravity in the Malice: Voluntary act without justification intending c turpitude social duties that an individual owes to to injure fellow citizens or society in general o Model Penal Code: Intent classified by act done m either purposely, knowingly, recklessly or negligently DEGREE OF CRIME Causation The accused’s act must be proximate cause of • Distinguished by the circumstances under which the prohibited result to hold the accused responsible (“but crime was committed, and not by a substantial for” test used) difference in the particular act 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 Notes: Please be advised that this chart does not account for Burden of The prosecution must prove every element of crime jurisdictional differences • It is and information tool that sproof beyond a reasonable doubt be supplemented by more comprehensive materials and/or professional legal counsel 1 CRIMINAL LAW • A-624-6 © 1995-2011 Mindsource Technologies Inc. l e a r n • r e f e r e n c e • r e v i e w permachartsM CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY HOMICIDE A SSAULT LARCENY • Killing of a human being by another • Demonstration of an unlawful intent by human being one person to inflict immediate injury upon • Wrongful taking of the personal • Requires fact of death and criminal agency another person who is then present property of another with the intent of another person as the cause of death Attempt to Commit a Battery to steal • Specific intent to commit a battery • By trick: Trespassing is not MURDER • Present ability to commit the battery in involved, but is fraudulently induced • Unlawful killing of a human being by some jurisdictions FALSE PRETENSES another with malice aforethought, either • Victim need not be aware of the threat express or implied Intent to Frighten • Crime of obtaining property Express malice: Actual intent to kill the • Intentionally placing a sound person in fear whereby the accused makes an person killed, or any other person of immediate harm intentionally false statement Implied malice: Death results from intent to concerning a material fact that the cause serious injury, or act creating great risk • Apparent intent to commit a battery victim of the offense relies upon • Apparent present ability to commit a battery and parts with title and possession to others • Victim aware of the threat of property First degree: Intent to kill with deliberation and premeditation • Felony-murder, during Aggravated Assault dangerous felonies • Murder by poison, lying • Statutory crime EMBEZZLEMENT in wait or torture • Specific intent to commit a more serious • Fraudulent conversion of property crime (e.g., rape) by one who has rightfully come into Second degree: Killing with malice aforethought, but without deliberation and • Assault with a deadly weapon possession thereof and who holds it premeditation • Felony-murder during • Victim has special status in a fiduciary capacity felonies that are not inherently dangerous (e.g., police officer) • Possession is lawful, but there is a Felony-murder: Any death resulting from trespass against title felony • No intent to kill necessary; only BATTERY intent to commit a felony • Model Penal Code RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY replaces rule with presumption of malice • Unlawful application of physical force Committed by: Intentional, unjustified act • Property must be received • Property must have been stolen MANSLAUGHTER touching or injuring another • Unlawful killing of a human being by • Injury caused by criminal negligence • Accused must know that it another without malice aforethought • Injury resulting from unlawful act was stolen • Accused must receive the property Voluntary Aggravated act: Statutory crime with wrongful intent • Intentional killing without malice under • Inflict great bodily injury • Victim has special mitigating circumstances status (e.g., police officer) FORGERY • Requires adequate provocation of FALSE IMPRISONMENT & FALSE ARREST • The false making or alteration of the accused any writing with intent to defraud • May include killing in the heat of passion • Unlawful detention of another, by force, and when the writing, if genuine, before defendant cooled off without his or her consent Involuntary • Force is by improperly asserted legal would be the foundation of some legal liability • Unintentional killing authority • Uttering is similar to forgery, where m • Commission of dangerous unlawful act the forged instrument is offered to • Doing lawful act with criminal negligence ROBBERY another with the knowledge of its o falsity with the intent to defraud • Failure to perform legal duty showing • Involved felonious taking and asportation c criminal negligence of the personal property of another, from . Negligent or Vehicular Homicide the person of another or in that person’s MALICIOUS MISCHIEF s presence, either by trespass, by force or • Damage or destruction of someone • Removes cases from manslaughter statute putting in fear else’s personal or real property t • Usually involves operation of motor vehicle Aggravated Robbery with malice r RAPE • Statutory crime a • Deadly weapon is used CRIMES AGAINST • Unlawful, sexual intercourse without consent • Victim is injured h • Penetration is required HABITATION c • Bank or train was robbed • Consent is a defense Model Penal Code BURGLARY a • No consent if given due threat or • Inflicts serious injury reasonable fear of harm, legal consent Common law: Breaking and entering m impossible (age), or consent obtained • Threatens serious injury a dwelling house of another at night r through trick or fraud • Threatens or commits certain felonies with the intent to commit a felony Statute: Breaking not required e MAYHEM KIDNAPPING • Not just a dwelling • Remaining in a building without authority p Common law: Intentional inflicting of injury • Taking or detention of a person without rendering person less able to fight lawful authority • Nighttime entry is not required • Accomplished by force, fraud or duress, and • Permanent injury to person, rendering that against that person’s will ARSON person less able to fight or defend himself or herself • Act may be done with malice Simple: Not aggravated, ransom involved or Common law: Burning the Present law: Disfigurement of the body child stealing dwelling house of another that is • May be treated as a separate crime or willful and malicious aggravated battery Statute: Includes malicious destruction of any real or personal property 2 CRIMINAL LAW • A-624-6 © 1995-2011 Mindsource Technologies Inc. l e a r n • r e f e r e n c e • r e v i e w permachartsM OTHER CRIMES DEFENSES OFFENSES INVOLVING JUDICIAL PROCEDURE EXCUSE OF JUSTIFICATION Perjury Willful and false swearing or • Prevented commission of felony Condonation by Injured Party affirming of a testimony that is • Act of public authority • Valid for private wrong material after the swearing of a legally given oath Consent Model Penal Code • Voluntarily given by person legally • Retreat unless not safe, defending Bribery Voluntary giving or receiving of competent own home, attacker is being anything of value in corrupt • Fraud in the inducement—consent arrested lawfully, or attacker is a payment for an official act allowed robber or omission Homicide: Cannot assert defense
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