What is meant by the word crime?
Crime is an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law
What are the legal characteristics of a crime?
- There must be an act or failure to act
- The act must be seen as harmful to the whole community
- The act or is punishable by the state
- The state takes the person who committed the act to court, where the offence must be proved according to the rules of criminal procedure
What two elements must be proved to hold someone criminally liable?
Actus reus and Mens rea
What is meant by Actus Reus?
Actus reus means 'the guilty act
What are the feautres of Actus reus?
- The act actually took place
- that is was done by the accused person
- that it was voluntary
What is meant by mens rea?
Mens rea means 'the guilty mind' traditionally this means a person is guilty of a crime only if he or she carried to the criminal act and intended to do so
What is need to prove Mens rea?
The intention or specific desire to commit an act
Negligence for example if a person drove a car in a highly negligent manner and killed someone
What is a strict liability offence?
A strict liability offence means that no mens rea needs to be proved. E.g traffic offences
What is meant by causation?
For a crime to be proved, causation must be shown
What are the categories of crime?
- Offences against the person
- offences against the sovereign
- Economic offences
- Crimes against property
- White-collar crimes
- Computer crimes
- Drug offences
- driving offences
- Public order offences
- Preliminary offences
What are criminal offences against the person?
Crimes against the person are acts which harm other people. They include, murder, assault and sexual assault
What are crimes against the sovereign?
These are acts which aim to disrupt or harm governing bodies of a country
What are economic crimes
Economic offences involve the act against the personal property or finance (Property, white collar/ computer )
What are crimes against property?
These are acts which damage or remove peoples property
What are white-collar crimes?
These are crimes against the property carried out by people working in the business world who commit crimes related to money
What are computer crimes?
These are crimes that are committed using computers and internet technology. They include identity theft and false representations
What are drug offences?
These offences include possession of illegal drugs, trafficking, cultivation, manufacture and importation of illegal drugs.
What act in Nsw covers drug offences?
Drug offences in NSW are covered under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW)
What are driving offences?
Most driving offences are summary or regulatory offences such as speeding or not wearing a seatbelt. These types of driving offences are strict liability.
What are public order offences?
Public order offences are acts which occur in public and are seen as offensive or disruptive to the general population. They are generally minor and include such offences as offensive conduct, obstructing traffic and indecent exposure
What does it mean to commit a preliminary crime?
To commit a preliminary crime is to try to commit an act or plan to do so
What does conspiracy mean?
This occurs where two or more people agree to do an unlawful act or to do a lawful act by unlawful means
What is meant by attempt?
If a crime is attempted but not successfully committed, then the crime of attempt applies.
What are summary offences?
Summary offences are those heard and decided by a magistrate sitting without a jury. These offences are relatively minor and include driving offences and offensive behaviour. Summary offences are heard by a magistrate in a local court
What are indictable offences?
Indictable offences are serious criminal offences and may be heard by a judge or jury. They include murder and sexual assault.
What does it mean to be a party to a crime?
The parties to a crime who have participated in committing a criminal offence.
What does it mean to be the principle in the first degree?
This is the actual person who committed the crime
What does it mean to be the principle in the second degree?
This is a person who were present or who assisted the principal in the first degree
What does it mean to be The accessory before the fact?
This is a person or persons who helped plan the offence but were not there when it occurred
What does it mean to be the accessory after the fact?
This is the person or persons who helped the principles after the crime had been committed