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Types of crime. Warning! This is often a short answer question, do not confuse Types of crime with Examples. This is often a short answer question, do.

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Presentation on theme: "Types of crime. Warning! This is often a short answer question, do not confuse Types of crime with Examples. This is often a short answer question, do."— Presentation transcript:

1 Types of crime

2 Warning! This is often a short answer question, do not confuse Types of crime with Examples. This is often a short answer question, do not confuse Types of crime with Examples. I.e. I.e. Type = Offence against the person Type = Offence against the person E.g. = Homicide E.g. = Homicide Remember Type = category Remember Type = category

3 Legislation NSW’s primary piece of criminal legislation: NSW’s primary piece of criminal legislation: Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

4 Types of Crime Offences against the person Economic Offences Offences against the State Drug Offences Public Order Offences Traffic Offences Victimless crimes Preliminary Crimes

5 Crimes against the person: Homicide Homicide = a person being unlawfully killed Homicide = a person being unlawfully killed Judge must determine there is a causal relationship between the actions of the accused and the death Judge must determine there is a causal relationship between the actions of the accused and the death Causal link = a direct connection between the actions of the defendant and the harm caused to the victim Causal link = a direct connection between the actions of the defendant and the harm caused to the victim

6 Homicide: Murder Carries the most severe of penalties Carries the most severe of penalties Very difficult crime for the prosecution to prove Very difficult crime for the prosecution to prove Proof: Proof: An act took place with a deliberate intention to kill An act took place with a deliberate intention to kill There was a deliberate act designed to cause serious harm during which death occurred There was a deliberate act designed to cause serious harm during which death occurred There was a reckless indifference to human life, resulting in death (e.g. a person discharging a firearm in a crowded street) There was a reckless indifference to human life, resulting in death (e.g. a person discharging a firearm in a crowded street) Reckless indifferences is the hardest to prove. Prosecutor must show that the accused knew it was probable that their actions would result in death Reckless indifferences is the hardest to prove. Prosecutor must show that the accused knew it was probable that their actions would result in death

7 Homicide: Murder Murder is the most feared crime in society and media hype sometimes gives the impression that it is a common crime Murder is the most feared crime in society and media hype sometimes gives the impression that it is a common crime It is actually one of the least common crimes It is actually one of the least common crimes NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research recorded 90 Murders in 2006 compared with assaults and malicious property damage NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research recorded 90 Murders in 2006 compared with assaults and malicious property damage

8 Homicide: Manslaughter An unlawful killing but the accused has a defence for the actions involved in the killing. An unlawful killing but the accused has a defence for the actions involved in the killing. Three types of manslaughter: Three types of manslaughter: Involuntary = accused did not want to kill another but acted in a negligent way, causing death Involuntary = accused did not want to kill another but acted in a negligent way, causing death Voluntary = accused did intend to cause death but there are mitigating circumstances e.g. being provoked Voluntary = accused did intend to cause death but there are mitigating circumstances e.g. being provoked Constructive = accused did not want to kill but did so accidentally during the commission of a crime Constructive = accused did not want to kill but did so accidentally during the commission of a crime

9 Homicide: Infanticide A mother causing the death of her child within its first 12 months of life A mother causing the death of her child within its first 12 months of life The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) requires the court to take into account the mental state of the mother when the homicide occurred. The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) requires the court to take into account the mental state of the mother when the homicide occurred. Often this crime is applied when the accused suffers post natal depression Often this crime is applied when the accused suffers post natal depression

10 Homicide: Death by reckless driving Created in response to an increasing number of deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents Created in response to an increasing number of deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents The fact that the driver did not intend their actions to kill another person is not as important as other factors e.g.: The fact that the driver did not intend their actions to kill another person is not as important as other factors e.g.: Speed Speed Driving under the influence Driving under the influence Penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment can be given for drivers who cause death by reckless driving. Penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment can be given for drivers who cause death by reckless driving.

11 Assault = causing physical harm or threatening to cause physical harm to another person. Assault = causing physical harm or threatening to cause physical harm to another person. Used to be called assault (threat) and battery (physical harm) but modern law makes no distinction as it recognises the serious mental harm a threat can cause Used to be called assault (threat) and battery (physical harm) but modern law makes no distinction as it recognises the serious mental harm a threat can cause Crimes against the person: Assault

12 Barton v Armstrong 1973 FACTS – Mr. Barton was constantly being rung by Mr. Armstrong who would claim that he and his friends were about to break in and murder Mr. Barton and his family FACTS – Mr. Barton was constantly being rung by Mr. Armstrong who would claim that he and his friends were about to break in and murder Mr. Barton and his family FOUND – The threat and the fact that Mr. Barton believed the threats to be true were enough for Armstrong to be charged with assault even though no violence was committed FOUND – The threat and the fact that Mr. Barton believed the threats to be true were enough for Armstrong to be charged with assault even though no violence was committed AUTHORITY – A realistic and believable threat is a primary element of assault AUTHORITY – A realistic and believable threat is a primary element of assault

13 Aggravated Assault The Crimes Act 1900 describes a special type of assault which attracts heavier penalties: The Crimes Act 1900 describes a special type of assault which attracts heavier penalties: Use of a dangerous weapon Use of a dangerous weapon Assault on a police officer Assault on a police officer Threatening to contaminate a person with an infectious disease such as AIDS Threatening to contaminate a person with an infectious disease such as AIDS

14 Crimes against the person: Sexual Assault Involves sexual contact with another person without their consent (includes a spouse) Involves sexual contact with another person without their consent (includes a spouse) Consent is not valid when: Consent is not valid when: Under age (16) Under age (16) If given by mistake If given by mistake If given under duress If given under duress If the victim does not understand If the victim does not understand If given when knowingly drugged or intoxicated If given when knowingly drugged or intoxicated Statutory rape = a person over the age of consent having sex with someone under the age of consent Statutory rape = a person over the age of consent having sex with someone under the age of consent Sexual assault can also be aggravated Sexual assault can also be aggravated

15 Economic Crimes Wide range of crimes that damage, or result in the loss of, another person’s property Wide range of crimes that damage, or result in the loss of, another person’s property Includes: Includes: Crimes against property Crimes against property White collar crimes White collar crimes The Crimes Act 1900 refers to more than 200 specific economic crimes making this one of the most common types of crime The Crimes Act 1900 refers to more than 200 specific economic crimes making this one of the most common types of crime $

16 Crimes against property: Larceny or theft Larceny = the removal of another person’s property without consent Larceny = the removal of another person’s property without consent Must prove the accused intended to steal the property Must prove the accused intended to steal the property

17 R v Potsik 1973 FACTS: South Australian police charged Mr. Potsik with larceny after a bank teller accidentally gave him too much money FACTS: South Australian police charged Mr. Potsik with larceny after a bank teller accidentally gave him too much money FOUND: Supreme Court ruled that the teller’s mistake was not induced by Potsik and so he was not guilty of larceny FOUND: Supreme Court ruled that the teller’s mistake was not induced by Potsik and so he was not guilty of larceny AUTHORITY: Larceny requires an intent to steal, dishonesty is not enough AUTHORITY: Larceny requires an intent to steal, dishonesty is not enough

18 Crimes against property: Breaking and entering Occurs when a person illegally enters a building, or part of a building, in order to commit an offence. Occurs when a person illegally enters a building, or part of a building, in order to commit an offence.

19 Crimes against property: Robbery Most serious form of economic crime Most serious form of economic crime Accused takes a persons’ property directly from them or from their vicinity. Accused takes a persons’ property directly from them or from their vicinity. Can be considered a crime against the person if it involves the use or threat of violence Can be considered a crime against the person if it involves the use or threat of violence Armed robbery = the removal of a person’s property by violence or threat of violence with a weapon. Weapons may include guns, knives, syringes or other instruments Armed robbery = the removal of a person’s property by violence or threat of violence with a weapon. Weapons may include guns, knives, syringes or other instruments

20 White-collar crime Tend to be committed by professional people in the context of business Tend to be committed by professional people in the context of business They do not involve the usual threats to people or property that are often associated with crime They do not involve the usual threats to people or property that are often associated with crime

21 HIH ASIC found HIH may have breached several corporate laws: ASIC found HIH may have breached several corporate laws: Improper accounting Improper accounting Trading while insolvent Trading while insolvent Making false and misleading statements in relation to shares Making false and misleading statements in relation to shares HIH Director Mr. Rodney Adler was suspected of transferring funds from HIH to a shelf company HIH Director Mr. Rodney Adler was suspected of transferring funds from HIH to a shelf company

22 White collar crime: Tax evasion One of the most common WCC One of the most common WCC Ranges from fraudulently completing tax return to elaborate tax avoidance schemes involving millions of dollars Ranges from fraudulently completing tax return to elaborate tax avoidance schemes involving millions of dollars

23 White collar crime: Computer crime Law is often a little behind the development of new technology Law is often a little behind the development of new technology Can include: Can include: Hacking into company computer systems or banks to change accounts Hacking into company computer systems or banks to change accounts Credit card fraud Credit card fraud Spreading computer viruses Spreading computer viruses Use of copyright computer programs Use of copyright computer programs

24 White collar crime: Insider trading When a person with special knowledge of a company uses that knowledge to buy or sell shares When a person with special knowledge of a company uses that knowledge to buy or sell shares This is illegal as it gives an unfair advantage to investors who have special knowledge This is illegal as it gives an unfair advantage to investors who have special knowledge E.g. a banker knows a company is about to be taken over (the share price will raise dramatically) and so buys shares and then sells them E.g. a banker knows a company is about to be taken over (the share price will raise dramatically) and so buys shares and then sells them

25 Crimes against the state Individuals may feel that some laws are very unjust and that it would go against their moral principles if they were to obey them. Individuals may feel that some laws are very unjust and that it would go against their moral principles if they were to obey them. Can cause people to commit very serious crimes Can cause people to commit very serious crimes Sedition = act of encouraging hatred or contempt of the monarch, government or constitution Sedition = act of encouraging hatred or contempt of the monarch, government or constitution Treason = breach of allegiance to one’s country in that it causes harm to the State. It might involve working with the enemies of the country to bring down the monarch or government. Treason = breach of allegiance to one’s country in that it causes harm to the State. It might involve working with the enemies of the country to bring down the monarch or government. Such crimes rarely attract charges in Australia as many claim it interferes with the right to free speech necessary for a democracy Such crimes rarely attract charges in Australia as many claim it interferes with the right to free speech necessary for a democracy 

26 R v Sharkey 1949 FACTS: Sharkey, the general secretary of the Communist Party stated in an interview that the workers in Australia would welcome invasion by the Soviet Union. Also that workers should use force to ensure Fascists could not stop the communists from gaining power FACTS: Sharkey, the general secretary of the Communist Party stated in an interview that the workers in Australia would welcome invasion by the Soviet Union. Also that workers should use force to ensure Fascists could not stop the communists from gaining power FOUND: High court ruled the comments were seditious. FOUND: High court ruled the comments were seditious. WARNING: This was in the context of WW2 and is unlikely to be decided this way again WARNING: This was in the context of WW2 and is unlikely to be decided this way again

27 Public order offences Those which generally disrupt to activities of society Those which generally disrupt to activities of society Include: Include: Indecent behaviour Indecent behaviour Offensive language Offensive language Disorderly conduct while drunk Disorderly conduct while drunk Prostitution Prostitution Nudity in a public place Nudity in a public place Best e.g. of how society’s moral and ethical views can influence the law Best e.g. of how society’s moral and ethical views can influence the law As many public order offences are common police have extensive discretionary powers as to whether or not to enforce them. The problem with this discretion is if it is not exercised consistently or to discriminate against groups. As many public order offences are common police have extensive discretionary powers as to whether or not to enforce them. The problem with this discretion is if it is not exercised consistently or to discriminate against groups. #%&!

28 Traffic offences Most commonly committed offences Most commonly committed offences Both the Crimes Act 1900 and the Traffic Act 1909 (NSW) outline a range of offences relating to the use of motor vehicles Both the Crimes Act 1900 and the Traffic Act 1909 (NSW) outline a range of offences relating to the use of motor vehicles May be dealt with administratively e.g. fines and merit points or in court e.g. driving under the influence must appear in local court. Local court may also hear the matter if the driver questions the validity of a fine May be dealt with administratively e.g. fines and merit points or in court e.g. driving under the influence must appear in local court. Local court may also hear the matter if the driver questions the validity of a fine 

29 Regulatory Offences Less serious (often no considered crimes) Less serious (often no considered crimes) Often these are crimes of strict liability i.e. to be found guilty the prosecution needs only prove the crime occurred, intention is irrelevant Often these are crimes of strict liability i.e. to be found guilty the prosecution needs only prove the crime occurred, intention is irrelevant E.g. lighting a BBQ during a total fire ban E.g. lighting a BBQ during a total fire ban Often difficult to enforce especially as the breach is often difficult to detect Often difficult to enforce especially as the breach is often difficult to detect

30 Preliminary Offences Attempts Attempts Offence to attempt to commit a criminal act Offence to attempt to commit a criminal act Attempting to commit a crime is the same as successful completion of the act (except murder) Attempting to commit a crime is the same as successful completion of the act (except murder) Can be difficult to prove Can be difficult to prove Conspiracy Conspiracy Exists when 2 or more people agree to jointly commit a criminal act Exists when 2 or more people agree to jointly commit a criminal act Charges can be brought even if the act never occurred Charges can be brought even if the act never occurred Can be a conspiracy: Can be a conspiracy: Before the act = helping to plan the crime Before the act = helping to plan the crime During the act = driving the get away car During the act = driving the get away car After the act = concealing offender from the police After the act = concealing offender from the police

31 Victimless crimes One that seems to have occasioned no actual harm other than to the person who committed it. One that seems to have occasioned no actual harm other than to the person who committed it. These are usually things that don’t cause harm but society deems morally repugnant. These are usually things that don’t cause harm but society deems morally repugnant. E.g.: illegal gambling, drug use E.g.: illegal gambling, drug use The concept of victimless crimes is problematic as even these crimes can destroy a family and detract from the safety, well being of society. The concept of victimless crimes is problematic as even these crimes can destroy a family and detract from the safety, well being of society.

32 Your Task

33 Types of Crime Crimes against persons Homicide Murder Mans-laughter Infant-icide Death by reckless driving Assault Sexual assault Aggrav-ated assault Economic Crimes Crimes against property Larceny/ theft Break and Enter Robbery White collar crimes Tax evasion Comp-uter crime Insider trading Crimes against the state SeditionTreason Public order offencesTraffic offences Regulatory Offences Prelim offences AttemptsCons-piracy Before the fact During the fact After the fact Victim-less crimes


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