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By. Janine Hepler. -Lawrence M. Friedman What classifies an act as a crime? Parts of a Crime: ACT + GUILTY STATE OF MIND = CRIME Guilty State of Mind.

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Presentation on theme: "By. Janine Hepler. -Lawrence M. Friedman What classifies an act as a crime? Parts of a Crime: ACT + GUILTY STATE OF MIND = CRIME Guilty State of Mind."— Presentation transcript:

1 By. Janine Hepler


3 -Lawrence M. Friedman

4 What classifies an act as a crime? Parts of a Crime: ACT + GUILTY STATE OF MIND = CRIME Guilty State of Mind Carrying out a prohibited act knowingly, intentionally, or willfully

5 An example… CRIME (Arson) NON-CRIME Pouring gasoline on the floor of your apartment, striking a match, & allowing the building to catch fire (ACT) + Planning & intentionally setting the fire to your apartment in order to burn down the complex (GUILTY STATE OF MIND) Accidentally forgetting to turn off your stove before leaving for work causing your apartment complex to burn down (ACT) + Because you didn’t maliciously plan to burn down the complex, a GUILTY STATE OF MIND doesn’t exist

6 Guilty State of Mind OR Motive? GUILTY STATE OF MIND MOTIVE Deals with a person’s level of awareness of performing some act Could have been done purposely, intentionally, recklessly, etc. The REASON WHY a person commits an act Could be done for revenge, to obtain money, etc.

7 An example… Robin Hood stole (ACT—theft) Wanted to take from the rich & give to the poor (MOTIVE) Robin Hood intentionally took the money (GUILTY STATE OF MIND) Conclusion… Despite the fact that Robin Hood had a good motive for stealing, his state of mind in committing the theft was intentional & knowing, thus he would be guilty of a crime

8 Strict Liability Offenses Few in # Usually limited to crimes that don’t carry severe penalties or to crimes that are part of larger crimes DO NOT require a guilty state of mind The act itself is considered criminal Regardless of intent or knowledge of person committing the act

9 An example… Selling alcohol to minors is a strict liability crime, doesn’t matter whether seller knew that the customer was underage or not No guilty state of mind is required—considered a crime regardless of knowledge/intent

10 Crime Considerations Crimes are made up of elements (multiple parts) In order to convict someone, Prosecutors MUST… Prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt that EVERY element of the crime was committed

11 An example… Robbery (Defined) Elements of Robbery The unlawful taking & carrying away of goods or money from someone’s person by force or intimidation 1. The taking & carrying away of goods or money 2. The taking from someone’s person 3. The use of force or intimidation

12 Robbery or Not? Someone breaks into your house when you are not home & takes your property Could this person be convicted of the crime of robbery?—Why or Why Not?

13 The Answer… NO! The person didn’t take property from a person (no one was home) The person didn’t use force or intimidation (no one was home) HOWEVER… The person could be convicted of burglary

14 The crime of burglary doesn’t require the taking from a person or the use of force.—just the taking of goods or money

15 Criminal & Civil Wrongs A single act can be both a criminal & civil wrong Example: Purposely setting fire to another person’s store The state may file criminal charges (arson) The storeowner may also bring a separate civil suit to recover damages to their store

16 State & Federal Crimes State Crimes Federal Crimes Some acts can only be prosecuted in State courts unless they occur on federal property—violate state law Simple assault Disorderly conduct Drunk driving Shoplifting Other acts can only be prosecuted in Federal court— violate federal law Failure to pay federal taxes Mail fraud Espionage International smuggling

17 Exceptions… Some crimes can violate BOTH state & federal law Illegal possession of dangerous drugs Bank robbery These types of crimes can be prosecuted in EITHER a state OR federal court

18 Classes of Crimes Misdemeanor Felony Any crime for which the potential penalty is imprisonment for 1 year or less Usually less serious crimes Minor traffic violations are NOT considered crimes— even though they are punishable by law Any crime for which the potential penalty is imprisonment for more than 1 year Usually more serious crimes

19 Parties to Crimes Principal: person who commits a crime Person who fires the gun in a murder Accomplice: someone who helps another person commit a crime (“partner in crime”) Person who drives the getaway car during a bank robbery

20 Accessories to Crimes Before the Fact After the Fact Person who orders the crime OR helps the principal commit the crime BUT is NOT present Underworld leader who hires a professional killer Usually can be charged with the same crime & receive the same punishment as the principal Person who, knowing a crime has been committed, helps the principal or the accomplice avoid capture or escape NOT charged with original crime but subject to a separate crime This person may be charged with harboring a fugitive, aiding escape, or obstructing justice

21  Crimes of Omission  Preliminary Crimes  Crimes Against the Person  Crimes Against Property

22 Crimes of Omission Most crimes involve some action that violates the law Crimes of omission involve criminal liability for an omission or failure to act It is a crime for taxpayers to fail to file a tax return It is a crime for a motorist to stop after an accident A person is guilty of a crime of omission when… He or she fails to perform an act required by criminal law if he or she is physically able to perform the required act

23 Preliminary Crimes before Types of behavior that take place before the commission of a crime Are considered crimes in themselves Give the police the opportunity to prevent the intended crime Each offense may be punished even if the intended never occurred Offenses:  Solicitation  Attempt  Conspiracy

24 Preliminary Crimes: Solicitation Solicitation Soliciting (to ask, command, urge, or advise) another person to commit a crime Asking someone to kill your spouse, even if this person refuses, you have committed the crime of solicitation

25 Preliminary Crimes: Attempt Attempt Attempting to commit a crime is in itself a crime To be convicted, the accused must have both intended to commit & taken substantial steps toward committing a crime When someone intends to shoot & kill someone but misses or merely wounds the intended victim, an attempt has occurred To prove attempt… Courts must determine whether the actions of the accused were a substantial step toward the actual commission of the crime OR mere acts of preparation

26 Preliminary Crimes: Conspiracy Conspiracy An agreement b/t 2 or more people to commit a crime A drug dealer asking his associate to kill another dealer is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder even if the murder is never attempted or carried out Meant to strike against criminal activity by groups & prevent other crimes Allows police to arrest conspirators before they commit crimes Sometimes criticized, viewed as a threat to freedom of speech & association During Vietnam, the government charged people for trying to convince others to dodge the draft To Prove Conspiracy… overt In most states & in federal law an overt act is required for conviction (act open to view) In the Vietnam case, those who made public speeches at antidraft rallies were cited with an overt act

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