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Flashcards in Actus rea quiz Deck (10):

Elements of a results crim

- Actus Reus
- Mens Reus
- Causality


Elements of a conduct crime

- Actus Reus
- Mens Reus

Exception: unless it is a "strict liability" crime in which case Mens Reus is not needed. Example: Selling to alcohol of underage persons


Definition for voluntary act

"bodily movement performed consciously as a result of effort or determination, and includes the possession of property if the actor was aware of his physical possession or control thereof for a sufficient period to have been able to terminate it" (NYPL 15.00)


Expo facto law

A law that makes illegal an act that was legal when committed, increases the penalties for an infraction after it has been committed, or changes the rules of evidence to make conviction easier.


Lenity Doctrine

Any ambiguity in the criminal statue should be construed in favor of the defendant.


Does New York employ the Doctrine of Lenity?

No. NYPL 5.0 stipulates that the court should construe statutes in light of the legislature's intent, rather than against the state.


Which texts excludes types of acts from voluntary acts? What are the excluded acts?

MPC 2.01
..."The following are not voluntary acts:
1) a reflex or convulsion
2) a bodily movement during sleep unconscious or sleep
3) conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion
4) a bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor. either conscious or habitual.


5 situation which create legal duty under which an omission satisfies actus reus:

1) where statute imposes a duty
2) where one stands in a certain status relationships to another (parent-child; spousal; teacher-student)
3) where one has assumed a contractual duty to care for another
4) where one has a voluntarily assumed the care of another and so secluded the helpless person as to prevent others from rendering aid
5) When a person creates a risk of harm to another (hit run cases)

Assume, unless told differently that there are no Good Samaritan laws.


Does habitual or "automatic" acts count as voluntary acts?


E.g. looking in rear view window of a car.


Rule for Actus Reus

1) requirement for criminal conviction
2) must be proven beyond reasonable doubt
3) element 1: Voluntary Actus Reus
a) voluntary act; or
b) omissions with duty to act
4) element 2: Statutory Actus Reus; which includes
5) Conduct element, attendant circumstances and result element
6) sometimes considered "the social harm" part