2 Elements of a CrimeTwo conditions must exist for an act to be considered a crime: Actus Reus and Mens ReaActus Reus = A Wrongful DeedMens Rea = A Guilty MindThe crown attorney must prove that actus reus and mens rea existed at the time the crime was committed
3 Actus Reus and Mens ReaIn most instances the CCC will outline what must occur for an act to be considered a crimeMens rea exists if the offence is committed with:Intent or KnowledgeRecklessness
4 Example: Criminal Harassment 264 (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed, or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
5 Example: Criminal Harassment Prohibited Conduct(2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of(a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;(b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;(c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or(d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.
6 Example: Criminal Harassment The actus reus, or wrongful act, in the offence of criminal harassment is clearly spelled out in subsection 264(2) of the Criminal Code and includes:Repeatedly following,Repeatedly communicating with,Besetting or watching a dwelling or other place,or engaging in threatening conduct,when such conduct reasonably causes the victim to fear for their safety, or for the safety of others.
7 Example: Criminal Harassment The mens rea, or mental element of the crime is indicated by the words “knowing” and “recklessly” in subsection 264(1).
8 Intent or Knowledge Intent is the true purpose of an act General intent means that the intent is limited to the act itself and the person has no other criminal purpose in mindWith assault, the intention is to apply forceSpecific intent exists when the person committing the crime has a further criminal purpose in mindFor example a break and enter, with further intent to commit robberyAttempted murder, an assault took place with further intent to kill
9 R v. Parks, 1992 CanLIIRead the Case on Page 124 of your textbook
10 Motive and Recklessness Motive is the reason for committing an offenceMotive is not the same as intentA person can have motive, but commit no crime at allRecklessness is the careless disregard for the possible results of an actionMens rea can exist as a result of recklessnessDriving over the speed limit and causing death
11 Offences without Mens Rea Some offences which are less serious do not require mens rea to be provenFor example: speeding, pollutingStrict liability offences require proof that the crime was committed, but the defendant can claim due diligence as a defenseDriving with an expired license even though you did not realize it had expired
12 Offences without Mens Rea Absolute liability offences require proof that the crime was committed, but there is no possible defense
13 You Be The Judge R v. Collins and French How do you think the court ruled? ExplainR. v. Williams
14 AttemptIf you intend to commit a crime but fail to complete the act, you may still be guiltyProving attempt means proving that there was intent to commit the offenceThe actus reus for attempt begins when the person takes the first step toward committing the crime
15 Aiding or Abetting Aiding means to help someone commit a crime Abetting means to encourage someone to commit a crimeIt must be proven that the accused had knowledge of the intent to commit the crime AND that the accused actually helped or encouraged the person to commit the crime