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Introduction to Criminal Law

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1 Introduction to Criminal Law
Chapter 8

2 Guilty State of Mind Meaning the prohibited act must be done intentionally, knowingly, or willfully Carelessness is not considered a guilty state of mind Example: You leave the stove on and burn down the entire apartment complex. You committed the act, but did not have a guilty state of mind (maliciousness)

3 Motive The reason why the act is performed
Different than state of mind It is the reason a person kills someone Example: Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. He had a good motive, but his state of mind in committing the theft was intentional. So he would be guilty

4 Strict Liability Crimes that do not require a guilty state of mind
Act is criminal regardless of the knowledge or intent of the person committing the act Example: Selling booze to minors Usually to be convicted, you must have guilty state of mind

5 General Considerations
Crimes are made up of elements To be guilty, every element must be proved Example: Robbery Taking and carrying away of goods or money Taking from some person Use of force and intimidation

6 Parties to Crimes Person who commits a crime is called the principal
Someone who helps another person commit a crime is the accomplice Example: Driver of getaway car Person who orders a crime to be done is an accessory before the fact Person who, knowing a crime was committed, helps the person avoid capture or escape is an accessory after the fact

7 Crimes of Omission A person is guilty of a crime of omission when he or she fails to perform an act required by a criminal law Example: Lying to a police officer Example: Not paying taxes Example: Not stopping your car after an accident

8 Solicitation To ask, command, urge, or advise another person to commit a crime is called Solicitation

9 Attempt An Attempt to commit a crime is in itself a crime
Must have intended to commit the crime and taken some step toward committing the crime Example: You shoot at someone and miss

10 Conspiracy Agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime
Designed to help prevent crimes from occurring Some feel it violates freedom of speech To be guilty, one must make some steps toward committing the crime

11 Crimes Against the Person
Chapter 9

12 Homicide The killing of one human being by another
Most serious of all criminal acts Can be criminal or non-criminal

13 Criminal Homicide Most serious homicide is done with malice
Means having the intent to kill or seriously harm human life In the old days, there were no classifications of homicide They were all assumed to be done with malice and were punishable by death

14 First-Degree Murder Killing that is premeditated (thought about beforehand), deliberate, and done with malice

15 Felony Murder Killing that takes place during a felony act
Arson, rape, robbery, or burglary Most states assume felony murder to be first degree murder Malice and deliberation do not need to be proved Can result in life in prison

16 Second-Degree Murder Killing done with malice, but without premeditation or deliberation Includes spontaneous killings that are unplanned

17 Voluntary Manslaughter
Killing that occurs after the victim has done something to the killer that would cause a reasonable person to lose self-control or act rashly Cannot just be words said to the killer Cannot be any kind of “cool down” period Example: Man walks in on his spouse cheating on him and kills the person Punishment is less severe

18 Involuntary Manslaughter
Unintentional killing resulting from a reckless act Playing with a loaded gun Driving around recklessly

19 Negligent Homicide Similar to Involuntary manslaughter
Many states classify these the same Cause of death through criminal negligence Negligence is the failure to exercise a reasonable or ordinary amount of care in a situation that causes harm to someone Most common form is with your vehicle

20 Noncriminal Homicide Killing that is justifiable Examples: Killing enemy soldier, killing a criminal on death row, killing by a police officer of a person who is committing a serious crime, killing done in self defense

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