Presentation on theme: "The Elements of a Crime Introduction to Criminal Law – chapter 6."— Presentation transcript:
The Elements of a Crime Introduction to Criminal Law – chapter 6
Actus Reus “The Guilty Act” Voluntary action, omission or state of being Voluntary Action I did something (e.g.. I punched a man in the face) Omission I should have done something (I didn’t feed my child, which is child abuse) State of being Being in the act of something illegal (I am holding illegal narcotics)
Mens Rea “The guilty mind” A deliberate intention to commit a wrongful act, with reckless disregard for the consequences Different types Intent Knowledge Criminal negligence recklessness Willful blindness
A Criminal Act Actus Reus + Mens Rea = Criminal Act
Types of Mens Rea In order to prove mens rea in court, the prosecution (crown) must demonstrate one of the following
Types of Mens Rea Intent A state of mind in which someone desires to carry out a wrongful action, knowing what the result will be and is reckless regarding the consequences General Intent: the desire to commit a wrongful act, with no ulterior motive or purpose Specific intent: the desire to commit one wrongful act for the sake of accomplishing another
Example Norman robs a man on the street. During his flee from the location of the robbery, he pushes someone on to the road who is then struck by a van What is the general intent? What is the specific intent?
Types of Mens Rea Motive The reason someone committed a crime NOT the same as intent You can have MOTIVE without committing a crime Motive is useful, but CAN NOT prove mens rea on it’s own
Example Sonya killed her grandmother to get an inheritance What is the motive? What is the intent?
Types of Mens Rea Knowledge An awareness of certain facts that can be used to establish mens rea Example: knowingly using a fake passport as identification
Types of Mens Rea Criminal Negligence Wanton of reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others, sometimes causing serious injury or death
Example Carla leaves a loaded gun on her bed stand. Her seven year old daughter finds the gun and shoots a neighbor with it Is Carla criminally negligent in this case?
Types of Mens Rea Recklessness Consciously taking an unjustifiable risk that reasonable person would not take Which of these are examples of the mens rea of recklessness? Driving a car on a sidewalk Driving drunk Driving while texting Driving while eating Driving while tired
Types of Mens Rea Willful Blindness Deliberate closing of one’s mind to the possible consequences of one’s actions Which of these show willful blindness? Ignoring a fight at school Buying a t.v. from someone without asking where it came from Seeing people passing a white powder in a baggie in a club
Strict vs. Absolute Liability If an offense doesn’t require mens rea Such as regulations Can be groups under liability Liability means legal responsibility for an action Strict liability No mens rea required, but defense can be due diligence Due diligence: took every reasonable measure to avoid the act Absolute liability No mens rea required, no defense available, no jail
Is this strict or absolute liability? A company dumps chemicals into a river which increase cancer risk. They have followed environmental regulations in doing this. Speeding Someone drowns in your pool Keeping a tiger as a pet without a permit Selling defective toys
To Do: Read all cases from 144-151 and for each Explain whether there is the mens rea and actus reus for a criminal intent Name each