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Criminal Law (1L)

Criminal Law Flashcards

What is the Traditional Definition of "Knowingly" To have actual knowledge or should have known.
What is the Definition of Mens Rea? Criminal State of Mind that is required to be blameable.
What is Willful Blindness? 1. Deliberate Ignorance (2) Positive knowledge are equally culpable.
What is Stare Decisis? "To abide or adhere to decide cases". Let the precedent stand; Courts look at case law with a a view to consistency. To stand by which is decided. The principle that the precedent decisions are to be followed by the courts.
What is Omission? Person held criminally liable for doing nothing /failure to act. Failure to file tax by April 5th or failure to report a crime.
What is Ex Post Facto? Latin - From what is done afterwards. The law cannot be applied to a crime that occurred before the legislation was passed.
Major sources of Criminal Law? Common Law Statutes Model Penal Code (MPC)
Definition of Crime An act that the law makes punishable criminal wrong.
In Criminal Law, is mistake of law a defense? Never a Defense
What is Ex Post Facto A law that either makes conduct criminal that was not criminal at the time committed.reases the degree of criminality of conduct beyond what it was at the time it was committed.
What are the two parts of a crime? Physical Act - Actus Reus Mental State - Mens Rea
What happens under the Model Penal Code if there no mental state contained in the charge? If no Mental State is contained, it will still be determined by the courts that anyone of the following: Purposely, Knowingly or Recklessly will suffice
What is the requirement of a voluntary act in a crime? Defendant must engage in a voluntary act, some willed bodily movement over which he has some control to be criminal liable.
When does the law impose a legal duty to help in situation?: • Close Relationship - husband-wife , parent-child • Contract that requires some assistance • Non- criminal statute requires action be taken - If the actor start to give aid, is under legal duty to reasonably complete the task
What is the Common Law definition of Murder? unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought
At Common Law, how can Malice Aforethought be established? • Intent to kill • Intent to cause serious bodily harm • Depraved or wicked heart killing • Murder - felony murder situation
What is Manslaughter? Unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought
What makes up Manslaughter? 1. Provocation heat of passion situation - adultery. 2. Physical assault by another - and in a rage, while being assaulted, taking a life. 3. Reckless killing of a human being.
Who determines whether a crime will be reduced from Murder to Manslaughter? The Jury (Trier of Facts)
1st Degree Murder can be established by one of two ways? 1. Premeditated and deliberate killing of a human being 2. A killing that took place during the commission of a dangerous felony.
What types of crimes does 2nd degree murder cover? - All common law not covered by murder in the first degree. Intent to cause bodily harm / depraved heart.
Does a fetus (unborn child) count as a human being in a homicide case? Common law - indicates that there has to be a live birth of unborn fetus before a homicide conviction can take place.
Who must prove the element of an alleged crime? State must prove each element of the crime alleged- failing to do so is a violation of due process clause of constitution.
What is the common law felony murder rule? The common law felony murder rule provides that if a person kills another in doing or attempting to do an act amounting to a felony, the killing is murder.
Why is Felony murder similar to Strict Liability Crimes? Felony murder is akin to strict liability crimes in that no mental element or mens rea must be proven. 
What is the notion of transferred intent? Transferred Intent is a deliberate act of violence against a person, which results in an unintended person being the recipient of the violent act
What is the concept of vicarious liability? The concept of vicarious liability is used to hold all co-conspirators liable for the substantive crimes committed by any one of the conspirators in the course of executing the unlawful agreement.
What is the Inherently-Dangerous-Felony Limitation in FMR? Many states limit the rule to homicides that occur during the commission of felonies which by their nature are dangerous to human life, e.g., armed robbery.
What is the Independent Felony (or Merger) Limitation in FMR? FMR only applies if the predicate felony is independent of, or collateral to, the homicide. If the felony is not independent, then the felony merges with the homicide and cannot serve as the basis for a felony-murder conviction.
What is the Res Gestae Requirement in FMR? A requirement of the felony-murder rule is that the homicide must occur "within the res gestae [things done to commit] of the felony," which requires both: Time, Space, causal link.
What is the proximate causation theory of FMR? The "proximate causation" theory of felony-murder under which a felon is liable for any death proximately resulting from the felony, whether the killer is a felon or a third party.
What is the Agency Approach in FMR? Majority Approach which precludes any killing committed during the commission of the felon by a person other that the defendant or his accomplices from serving as the basis for felony-murder.
What is Accomplice Liability in Felony Murder? All of the people involved will be guilty of felony murder even if only one of the people involved in the predicate felony actually participated in the killing.
What are some dangerous crimes that Felony Murder will apply to? The felonies that are usually considered dangerous enough so that felony murder will attach are the BRAKES felonies which include burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, escape and sex crimes.
What are Four reasons for the felony murder rule? i. Deterrence ii. Protection of Life iii. Punishment iv. Prosecution
3 Elements of Premeditation (1) “planning” activity, occurring prior to the killing; (2) evidence of “motive”; and (3) a manner of killing “so particular and exacting that the defendant must have intentionally killed according to a ‘preconceived design.’”
What is the most common statutory requirement for first-degree murder? The most common statutory requirement for first-degree murder is that the killing have been “premeditated and deliberate.”
Does the Model Penal Code divide murder into first-and second-degree? No, the Model Penal Code does not divide murder into first-and second-degree.
What are the two kinds of involuntary manslaughter at common law? (1) Killings that occur as a result of gross criminal  negligence, and (2) Misdemeanor - Manslaughter killings which occur when an unintended homicide takes place during an unlawful act not amounting to a felony.
How does the MPC define "recklessly"? The Code defines “recklessly” so as to require a “gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a law-abiding person would observe in the actor’s situation.” M.P.C. § 2.02(2)(c).
What is Unlawful-act manslaughter (“misdemeanor-manslaughter”)? The so-called “misdemeanor-manslaughter” rule permits a conviction for involuntary manslaughter when a death occurs accidentally during the commission of a misdemeanor or other unlawful act.
What are the 3 mental states for Involuntary manslaughter? • Intent to cause slight injury - Killing that results from a simple battery or assault. • Reckless or grossly negligent conduct - Killing someone while sleeping at the wheel. • Participation in a none dangerous crime - e.g. during a larceny or embezz
What is a Malum prohibitum crime? A crime that is prohibited by statute.
Malum in se A crime that is inherently dangerous or immoral.
What three things does the prosecution have to prove in a murder case? • Unlawful act • Culpable mental state • Defendant's act caused the result
Proving Proximate cause under common law requires what? • Ultimate result intended by the actor. • How foreseeable was the possibility that the harm will occur. • How substantial a bearing did the Defendant's action have on the result . • The distance in time, place, circumstances and chain of events.
What is the Model Penal Code's approach to causation? (1) a - cause in fact must be established; (2) proximate must also be established.
Elements of Premeditated murder are? (a) That a certain named or described person is dead; (b) That the death resulted from the act or omission of the accused; (c) That the killing was unlawful; and (d) That, at the time of the killing, the accused had a premeditated design to kill.
Elements of Intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm a) That a certain named or described person is dead;(b) That the death resulted from the act or omission of the accused; (c) That the killing was unlawful; and (d) That, at the time of the killing, the accused had the intent to kill or inflict great bodi
Elements of Felony Murder (a) That a certain named or described person is dead; (b) That the death resulted from the act or omission of the accused; (c) That the killing was unlawful; and (d) That, at the time of the killing, the accused was engaged in the perpetration or attemp
What is Premeditated murder? Murder committed after the formation of a specific intent to kill someone and consideration of the act intended. It is not necessary that the intention to kill have been entertained for any particular or consider-able length of time.
What is Intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm. An unlawful killing without premeditation is also murder when the accused had either an intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm.
What is Great bodily harm? “Great bodily harm” means serious injury; it does not include minor injuries such as a black eye or a bloody nose, but it does include fractured or dislocated bones, deep cuts, torn members of the body, serious damage to internal organs, and other serious
What are the elements of Voluntary manslaughter? (a) That a described person is dead;(b) That the death resulted from the act or omission of the accused; (c) That the killing was unlawful; and (d) That, at the time of the killing, the accused had the intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm upon the
What are the elements of Involuntary manslaughter? (a) A person is dead;(b) That the death resulted from the act or omission of the accused; (c) That the killing was unlawful; and (d) That this act or omission of the accused constituted culpable negligence, or occurred while the accused was perpetrating o
What is defined by voluntary manslaughter? voluntary manslaughter if committed in the heat of sudden passion caused by adequate provocation. Heat of passion may result from fear or rage.
Examples of Adequate Provocation. Examples of acts which may, depending on the circumstances, constitute adequate provocation are the unlawful infliction of great bodily harm, unlawful imprisonment, and the sight by one spouse of an act of adultery committed by the other spouse.
What is not provocation? Insulting or abusive words or gestures, a slight blow with the hand or fist, and trespass or other injury to property are not, standing alone, adequate provocation.
What is negligent homicide? Negligent homicide is any unlawful homicide which is the result of simple negligence. An intent to kill or injure is not required.
What is simple negligence? It is the absence of due care, that is, an act or omission of a person who is under a duty to use due care which exhibits a lack of that degree of care of the safety of others which a reasonably careful person would have exercised under the same or simila
Who bears the burden in an insanity defense? The burden is on the defendant to produce some evidence that he is insane if he wishes to raise the insanity defense.
Who bears the burden of disproving insanity? The burden switches from the defendant to the prosecution to prove that the defendant is sane.
What are the 4 tests for insanity defense? There are four tests for insanity: 1) M’Naghten, 2) Irresistible impulse, 3) Substantial Capacity (Model Penal Code), and 4) Durham.
Under the M'Naghten test, what must the defendant prove? Under the M’Naghten Test the defendant must prove that due to a defect in reasoning caused by a mental disease, he did not know right from wrong or did not know the nature and quality of his actions.
Under the Irresistible Impulse test (M'Naghten Plus test), what must the defendant prove? The defendant must prove that due to a defect in reasoning caused by a mental disease, he did not know right from wrong or did not know the nature and quality of his actions and his mental disease kept him from controlling his conduct.
Under the ALI-MPI (substantial capacity test, what must the defendant prove? The defendant needs to show that as a result of mental disease or defect, she lacked “substantial capacity” to (a) understand the difference between right and wrong or (b) to conform her conduct to the dictates of the law.
Under the Durham (Product of / Product) test, what must the defendant prove? The defendant must prove that the crime must be a product of a mental disease (considering all symptoms and circumstances).
What is the MPC view of insanity? What part of the code covers it? · MPC view – a defendant has a valid insanity defense if he “lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law” – MPC § 4.01
What is the appropriate meaning of “wrong” for the purpose of the insanity defense? Society’s morals, not the morals of the individual, are the standard for judging moral wrong under M’Naghten.
What is Competency to Stand Trial? 1. General Rule – A person may not be tried, convicted, or sentenced for an offense if, during the criminal proceedings, she: a. lacks the capacity to consult with her attorney “with a reasonable degree of rational understanding”; or b. lacks a “rational
Which insanity test is more difficult for the Defendant? ALI -MPC or M'Naghten? This ALI test gives you more flexibility than the M’Naghten test
What is the purpose of Partial Responsibility Defense? It provides complete defense to the specific intent crime, but it provides no defense to the lesser included crime.
What is Diminished Capacity defense? a sane person may suffer from a mental disability that prevents him form forming the mental state required for the commission of an offense.
What one of the effects of Insanity Acquittal? Majority jurisdiction Automatic Commitment – In many states, a person found "not guilty by reason of insanity" [NGRI] is automatically committed to a mental facility on the basis of the verdict.
What is another effect of Insanity Acquittal? - Minority jurisdiction. Discretionary Commitment – In some jurisdictions, commitment of an insanity-acquittee is not automatic. Typically, however, the trial judge has authority to require a person found NGRI to be detained temporarily in a mental facility for observation and e
What is the effect of a Guilty But it returns Mentally Ill (GBMI) verdict? It returns a GBMI verdict if he is guilty of the offense, was sane at the time of the crime, but is "mentally ill," as the latter term is defined by statute, at the time of trial.
Three types of evidence introduced in a Diminished Capacity defense. (1) Observational evidence - in the everyday sense (laypeople/ expert) (2) Mental disease evidence - Expert - paranoid schizophrenia; (3) Capacity evidence - Expert - Capacity to form the requisite mental state.
What is Extreme Mental or Emotional Distress under MPC? A homicide that would otherwise constitute murder is manslaughter if it is committed as the result of extreme mental or emotional disturbance (EMED) for which there is a reasonable explainable or excuse.
What are the two types of intoxication? There are two types of intoxication, voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary intoxication is generally not a valid defense, while involuntary intoxication generally is a valid defense.
How can Deadly force be used against others under Common Law? A non-aggressor is justified in using force upon another if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to protect himself from imminent use of unlawful force by the other person.
How can Deadly force be used against others under MPC? A person is justified in using force upon another person if he believes that such force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the exercise of unlawful force by the other on the present occasion.
Use of Deadly force involves what? when the defendant believes that such force is immediately necessary to protect himself on the present occasion against:
Under the MPC, Deadly force is justifiable when what happens? Death; serious bodily injury; forcible rape; or kidnapping.
Retreat Rule under the Common Law of your state. If a person can safely retreat and, therefore, avoid killing the aggressor, deadly force is unnecessary.
Under Common Law rule, what is an exception to rule of retreat. exception to the rule of retreat is that a non-aggressor need not ordinarily retreat if he is attacked in his own dwelling place or within its curtilage [the immediately surrounding land associated with the dwelling], even though he could do so in complet
Under the MPC, use of deadly weapon is described as follows: One may not use deadly force against an aggressor if he knows that he can avoid doing so with complete safety by retreating.
What is the automatism defense? The automatism defense is a claim that physiological or environmental factors caused the defendant to commit criminal actions involuntarily, thus without criminal intent.
Under MPC 3.07 (2) (b) What are limitations on use of deadly force by police? 3.07(2)(b): What are limitations on use of deadly force by police? a) arrest must be for a felony, b) the crime is deadly force or substantial risk if apprehension delayed.
Can a Private person use deadly force under Common Law? A private person may use deadly force, if reasonably necessary, to arrest or apprehend a felon, but in more limited circumstances than for police officers.
Can a Private person use deadly force under MPC? Deadly force may never be used by a private person, acting on his own, to make an arrest or to prevent a suspect’s escape. But can be by a police officer, or a private person assisting someone he believes is a law enforcement officer, to make an arrest o
In Criminal Law, is Mistake of Law ever a defense? Never a defense
What is the definition of crime? An act that the law makes punishable; criminally wrong act
What is the Year-and-A-Day-Rule? Requirement for murder (and Later manslaughter) by English Judges, that the victim's death must occur within a year and a day after the fatal blow was delivered.
When is there a legal duty to act? (1) if there is close relationship; (2) contract requiring assistance (3) a non criminal statute, part of code requiring duty to act (4) if a person starts to act, they must finish it.
What is Actus Reus? Criminal act or an unlawful omission of an act, must have occurred.
What is the doctrine of transferred intent? The intended harm does not occur to the intended victim, but occurs instead to a second unintended victim. Defendant is still liable for the unintended, unanticipated consequence of intentional harm.
Why do we punish crimes? Deterrence (general / specific), rehabilitation, restraint (incapacitation), restitution.
What are the elements of a Strict Liability crime? It does away with mental state; public welfare crime /offenses; penalty is less than $500; less than 1 year in prison.
Examples of Strict Liability crimes? Statutory rape, traffic offense and bigamy.
What are the elements of Self Defense? 1.Defendant was threatened or reasonably believed that he was being attacked by the victim 2. And deadly force is reasonably necessary to prevent the deadly attack.
Is self-defense going to be available for an initial aggressor? Self- defense as a defense is not going to be available to an aggressor who threatens of use of deadly force.
What needs to be present in a Self-Defense defense? There needs to be an immediate danger of severe harm; reasonable belief, necessary to use force; immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury; the amount of force has to be proportionate to that of the attacker.#
Under the Minority rule - Must a defendant who claims Self-Defense utilize a safe retreat? Yes. He has a duty to do so if it safe to do so.
Under the Majority rule - Must a defendant who claims Self-Defense utilize a safe retreat? No. He has no duty to do so.
Do you have a duty to retreat in your own castle under both majority and minority rules? Under both Majority and minority rules – you are under No duty to retreat if you are in your own home.
What is the “imperfect” self-defense rule? - “Imperfect” self-defense downgrades the crime from murder to voluntary manslaughter (State v. Peterson)
What are the Elements of self-defense? (1) Reasonable belief -on the part of the D is about to be attacked with deadly force. (2) Reasonable force - defendant must reasonably believe he must use dead force to avoid the attack (3)The victim is not privileged and the victim’s attack is unlawf
What is the Definition of castle (and Curtilage) - Curtilage is the immediate, enclosed area surrounding a house or dwelling that "harbors the `intimate activity associated with the sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life.''
Is the castle (Curtilage) protected under the 4th Amendment? Curtilage, like a house, is protected under the fourth amendment from "unreasonable searches and seizures.''
•What are the elements of Defense of Others? (1) Burden of proof on the defendant (2) Amount of force – the proportionality rule on the Defendant (3) Reasonable belief that the intervention was lawful (subjective and objective standard belief) (4) Level of danger – only use deadly force if 3rd part
•What is the law enforcement privilege? Gives law enforcement agents the privilege to use deadly force when threatened with deadly force; To stop a felony offense; When a criminal is trying to escape or hurt others;where there is probable cause; The force being used on them is deadly; if a pers
Are law enforcement officers required to give warning before the use of deadly force? If a warning is feasible, it is reasonable for the police officer to give one, will depend on the facts of the circumstances.
If the officer is making an illegal arrest, can the felon use self defense against the officer to defend himself or will he be guilty of battery? At Common Law, Yes- A false arrest was a serious intrusion with a person's liberty. You could use whatever force was necessary to fight against that arrest.
If the officer is making an illegal arrest, can the felon use self defense against the officer to defend himself or will he be guilty of battery? At Modern law - The Citizen must submit to that arrest and seek redress via proper legal setting / channels.
Is deadly force acceptable in The defense of property? - General rule - reasonable non-deadly force to protect property. Deadly force can never be used to protect property interests alone.
What is the "fleeing felon" law? Deadly force may not be used unless it is necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others
According to Model Penal Code 2.09, When is Duress a valid defense? If the threat to the D was a threat that a reasonable person of reasonable firmness would have been unable to resist then the defendant has a valid defense.
How does The Model Penal Code determine the defense of duress. Under the MPC, duress does not require the threat to be of an immediate harm , or the harm be of serious injury; just what a reasonable person will perceive it to be.
Created by: ipparalegal
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