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CRIMINAL LAW SUMMER 2011 TA SESSION NOTES Chapter 4 Elements of Criminal Conduct.

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Presentation on theme: "CRIMINAL LAW SUMMER 2011 TA SESSION NOTES Chapter 4 Elements of Criminal Conduct."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRIMINAL LAW SUMMER 2011 TA SESSION NOTES Chapter 4 Elements of Criminal Conduct

2 OFFENSE ELEMENTS REMEMBER: actus reus + mens rea = criminal conduct Offense Elements : Conduct (act purposely) Attendant Circumstances (knowledge, awareness) Result (causation) Inchoate Liability Incipient crime (imperfectly performed or developed) that generally leads to another crime (attempt solicitation, conspiracy)

3 FOUR TYPES OF DEFENSES Element-negating defenses Failure of proof Affirmative defenses D bears some or all of burden of proof Burden of Production Burden of Persuasion Justifications Ds conduct is not unlawful, although it satisfies elements of offense Excuses D is not responsible for unlawful conduct

4 BURDENS OF PROOF Burdens Preponderance of the evidence Clear and convincing evidence Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Prosecution has burden to prove every element Burden of Persuasion Proof beyond reasonable doubt Burden on Prosecution Persuasive enough to be convincing beyond a reasonable doubt Convince fact finder of elements produced at trial Burden of Production Producing evidence on the matter In ones own favor

5 PATTERSON V. NEW YORK SHIFT OF BURDEN Quick Facts: D convicted of 2 nd degree murder which gave the affirmative defense of extreme emotional disturbance. Court placed burden on D to prove that which he stated. D argued that was against his rights to due process of law because it was an unconstitutional shift. Court ruled affirmative defense did not serve to negate any of the facts of the crime which the state had to prove in order to convict murder. The defense was a separate issue on which the D is required to carry the burden of persuasion. D has burden of proof on issue of extreme emotional disturbance State still had constitutional obligation to prove every element of the offense.

6 PRESUMPTIONS From certain facts we make other reasonable presumptions. Types of Presumptions: Mandatory – Unconstitutional Permissible – Constitutional May be offset by any evidence including the testimony of the D, which would negate the Ds culpable involvement. Presumption must not shift the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt from the prosecution.

7 PEOPLE V. LEYVA PRESUMPTIONS Quick Facts: 3 Ds were arrested for drugs found in vehicle and convicted of criminal possession. Leyva argued that he should not be charged and convicted because he had no idea the drugs were there and argued against the application of presumption. Presumption of Possession based on presence in a car. Court ruled that it was not in violation of D rights to convict using presumption b/c presumption is permissible when the requirement of rational connection to the conduct is made. Jury may find (permissible).

8 ACTS VS. THOUGHTS E.g.: Barney cannot stand the Teletubbies. All he can think about is running them over with his car. THOUGHT E.g.: While driving to work, Barney sees the Teletubbies crossing the road to the television studio. He speeds up to 80 m.p.h. in his Escalade and mows them all over. ACT REMEMBER : Actus Reas + Mens Rea = CRIMINAL CONDUCT

9 PEOPLE V. DAVIS ACT V. STATUS Quick Facts: D was convicted of drug possession (as opposed to being addicted to drugs). D argued that his due process rights were violated since he had a drug dependence and could not be convicted based on status. Making the status of narcotic addiction a criminal offense is cruel and unusual punishment. Actual behavior may be punished but not the status of the addiction.

10 VOLUNTARY V.S. INVOLUNTARY ACTS Voluntary Criminal liability MPC says (pg. 221): Voluntary act is not: 1. Reflex 2. Unconscious movement 3. Acting under course of hypnosis 4. Actor not aware of act Involuntary No criminal liability E.g. An accident Not a legal defense but valid in involuntary acts

11 STATE V. TIPPETS VOLUNTARY V.S. INVOLUNTARY Quick Facts: D was arrested and brought to jail where he was asked if he had any contraband on him to which there was no answer supplied. Police discovered drugs on D. D was charged with supplying contraband. D argued that he was not criminally liable for introducing drugs into the jail. Rule: Voluntary Act – requires something more than awareness; requires the ability to choose which course to take Court ruled that D did not voluntarily bring the drugs into the jail and thus was not criminally liable.

12 OMISSIONS Omission takes place of an act. Duty present but individual fails to act. No voluntary act. Guilty through omission. General rule: NO legal duty to act and no common law duty.

13 STATE V. MIRANDA OMISSION Quick Facts: The D was convicted of assault in the trial court and that was reversed on appeal when the appeals court ruled that he had no legal duty to act in regards to assisting his girlfriends child from harm at the hands of her mother. General rule : No legal duty to act. EXCEPTIONS : Certain relationship Statute Contractual duty Voluntarily assume duty Court ruled that the D did have a duty because he satisfied 1 and 4 of the exceptions.

14 KUNTZ V. MONTANA OMISSION Quick facts: Kuntz was charged with negligent homicide for causing the death of Becker due to allowing the victim to bleed to death after the Kuntz defended herself from his attack by stabbing him once in the chest. D argued that she used justifiable force. Legal duty exception : When there is a creation of risk the individual has the duty to (1) personally provide assistance or (2) summon medical assistance. Personal relationship created duty as found between husband and wife.

15 POSSESSION Not a conduct/act offense. Statutory offense. State of being. To possess something is to physically have it or to have control over it. Physically have the item = dominion Have control of the item = control

16 POSSESSION: SIMPLE V. COMPOUND Simple: Possession of an amount for individual use Compound: Possession for another purpose; possession with intent People v. Lee Quick Facts: D was charged with violation of open container law that prohibited public possession of open or unsealed alcoholic beverage. Court ruled the statute unconstitutional due to the fact that the condition of openness in no way threatened the public good and because of the vague language of the statute. Possession did not lead to intent in regards to the open container.

17 POSSESSION: ACTUAL V. CONSTRUCTIVE Actual: On the person Constructive: Not actually holding but have dominion or control over. People v. Rivera Quick facts: Rivera instructed Raul to get a gun and shoot the Guadalupe brothers. Raul wounded one and killed the other. Rivera was convicted of possessing a gun with intent to use it unlawfully. Court ruled that Rivera had dominion and control over the gun, and therefore constructively possessed it, by having dominion and control over Raul.

18 PEOPLE V. VALOT POSSESSION Quick Facts: D paid in part for a motel room where drugs were found. D was charged with possession and control of marijuana. D was held to have constructively possessed the drugs found in the room. Ds control over the drugs in the room was reasonably inferred.

19 POSSESSION: SOLE V. JOINT Sole Possession: Exclusive Possession Joint Possession: Permitted through constructive possession

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