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Flashcards in Chapter 7 Deck (51):
1

Criminal laws

Provide an incentive for persons to act reasonably in society and imposing penalties on persons who violate them

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Crime

Any act done by an individual in violation of those duties that he or she owes to society and for the breach of which the law provides that the wrongdoer shall make amends to the public

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Penal codes

A collection of criminal statutes

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In a criminal lawsuit, what is the government?

The plaintiff

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What is the lawyer that represents the government called?

The prosecutor

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In a criminal lawsuit, who is the accused?

The defendant

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Who represents the defendant?

The defense attorney

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Felony

The most serious type of crime; inherently evil crime. Most crimes against persons and some business-related crime are felonies

9

Misdemeanors

A less serious crime than a felony; not inherently evil but prohibited by society Many crimes against property are misdemeanors

10

Violation

A crime that is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor and that is usually punishably by a fine

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Essential elements of crime

1. Criminal Act
2. Criminal Intent

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Criminal Act

The defendant must have actually performed the prohibited act

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Actus reus

The actual performance of the criminal act

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Mens rea (criminal intent)

"Evil intent"-the possession of the requisite state of mind to commit a prohibited act

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Specific intent

Found where the accused purposefully, intentionally, or with knowledge commits a prohibited act

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General intent

Found where there is a showing of recklessness or a lesser degree of mental culpability

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Strict, or absolute, liability

A standard for imposing criminal liability without a finding of mens rea (intent)

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Arrest warrant

A document for a person's detainment, based on a showing of probable cause that the person committed the crime

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Indictment

The charge of having committed a crime (usually a felony), based on the judgement of a grand jury

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Information

The charge of having committed a crime (usually a misdemeanor), based on the judgement of a judge (magistrate)

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Arraignment

A hearing during which the accused is brought before a court and is (1) informed of the charges against him or her and (2) asked to enter a plea

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Plea of nolo contendere

The accused agrees to the imposition of a penalty but does not admit guilty

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Plea bargain

A situation in which the accused admits to a lesser crime than charged. In return, the government agrees to impose a lesser sentence than might have been obtained had the case gone to trial

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Robbery

The taking of personal property from another person by the use of fear or force

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Burglary

Breaking and entering a dwelling at night with the intent to commit a felony

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Larceny

The taking of another's personal property other than from his or her person or building

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Receiving stolen property

(1) Knowingly receiving stolen property and (2) intending to deprive the rightful owner of that property

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Arson

The willful or malicious burning of another's building

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Forgery

The fraudulent making or altering of a written document that affects the legal liability of another person

30

Extortion, or blackmail

A threat to expose something about another person unless that other person gives money or property

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White-collar crimes

Crimes usually involving cunning and deceit rather than physical force

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Embezzlement

The fraudulent conversion of property by a person to whom that property was entrusted

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Criminal fraud

The act of obtaining title to property through deception or trickery. Also known as false pretenses or deceit

34

Mail fraud

The use of mail to defraud another person

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Wire fraud

The use of telephone or telegraph to defraud another person

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Bribery

The act of one person giving another person money, property, favors, or anything else of value for a favor in return. Often referred to as a payoff or kickback

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Unreasonable search and seizure

Any search and seizure by the government that violates the Fourth Amendment

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Search warrant

A warrant issued by a court that authorizes the police to search a designated place for specified contraband, articles, items, or documents. The search warrant must be based on probable cause

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Exclusionary rule

A rule that says that evidence obtained from an unreasonable search and seizure can generally be prohibited from introduction at a trial or administrative proceeding against the person searched

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Criminal conspiracy

A situation in which two or more persons enter into an agreement to commit a crime and an overt act is taken to further the crime

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Attempt to commit a crime

A situation in which a crime is attempted but not completed

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The government usually brings criminal conspiracy charges if:

(1) the defendants have been thwarted in their efforts to commit the substantive crime or (2) there is insufficient evidence to prove the substantive crime

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Aiding and abetting the commission of a crime

Rendering support, assistance, or encouragement to the commission of a crime; harboring a criminal after he or she has committed a crime

44

Self-incrimination

The giving of testimony that will likely subject a person to criminal prosecution. The Fifth Amendment states that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against him or herself

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Immunity from prosecution

A situation in which the government agrees not to use any evidence given by a person granted immunity against that person

46

Attorney-client privilege

A rule that says a client can tell his or her lawyer anything about the case without fear that the attorney will be called as a witness against the client

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Privileges also recognized under the Fifth Amendment

1. Psychiatrist/psychologist -- Patient privilege
2. Priest/minister/rabbi -- Penitent privilege
3. Spouse -- Spouse privilege
4. Parent -- Child privilege

48

Double jeopardy clause

A clause of the Fifth Amendment that protects persons from being tried twice for the same crime

49

The Sixth Amendment guarantees certain rights criminal defendants, which are:

1. To be tried by an impartial jury of the state or district in which the alleged crime was committed
2. To confront (cross-examine) the witnesses against the accused
3. To have the assistance of a lawyer
4. To have a speedy trial

50

Cruel and unusual punishment

A provision of the Eight Amendment that protects criminal defendants from torture or other abusive punishment

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Specifics of a Criminal Trial

1. The accused is Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty
2. The plaintiff (the government) bears the Burden Of Proof
3. The government must prove Beyond A Reasonable Doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime charged
4. The accused does not have to testify against him or herself