BUL 4421 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Nolo Contendere, Exclusionary Rule, Trial
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Two elements of a crime:
1. Actus reus- a guilty act (person acted w purpose, knowingly, reckless, negligent)
2. Mens rea- a guilty mind
Gov. must prove that the defendant committed a prohibited act w wrongful intent.
Strict liability- only type of crime that allowed punishment without proof of a guilty mind. Actions
that, regardless of care taken, are specifically prohibited.
Ie. gas station may not intent to sell cigs to a minor but does it anyway
Petty crimes are minor misdemeanors usually punishable by a jail sentence <6 months or a
Whether is is a federal crime or state crime is decided by who made the statue.
Theft- pickpockets, no fear
Robbery- is someone pins you down and wrestles you for your wallet it is robbery
Aggravated robbery- if someone threatens you w a deadly weapon while taking your stuff and
pinning you down.
Burglary- when someone unlawfully enters a building w intent to commit a wrongful act.
“Breaking and entering”
Larceny- secretive and wrongful taking of someone’s stuff w intent to deprive them of it, does
not include fear, ie. stealing office supplies from work
Under common law a corp. Cannot be held liable for crimes, but you can fine them and the
board of directors that made the decision can be held liable for the crime, liability of corporate
Vicarious liability- employers can be held liable for employee’s crime if the supervisors made the
decision/ allowed him to do it
Defenses to crimes:
1. Infancy- someone who has not been legally emancipated, ie. being a minor
2. Mistake of fact- a honest and reasonable mistake that does not have the guilty mindset
of a crime
3. Intoxication- forced to ingent an intoxicating agent. Only applies if person is able to show
they would not have known the act was wrong. May be used in most jurisdictions
4. Insanity- his/her mental condition was so impaired they can’t choose between
right/wrong or know the act was wrong. irresistible impulse test. M’naughten test, model
penal code used to test sanity