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Flashcards in KS: Essential Elements of Crimes Deck (32)
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Criminal law jx is territorial -- crime may be prosecuted in any state where an act that was part of the crime took place orin any state where the result took place
-- venue is the county where the crime took place


Burden of Proof

elements of a crime: in a crim case, the prosecution must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt
Defenses: once a defense is raised by defendant, the prosecution must disprove each element of the defense beyond a reasonable doubt (except for insanity defense)


Classification of Crimes

Felony: crime that is punished by more than one year in prison
- unless identified by statute, felony is one punishable by death or by imprisonment
Misdemeanors: a crime for which the maximum punishment may not exceed one year in prison.


Essential elements of crimes

physical act, mental state, causation, concurrence


Physical Act

If there is no act, there is generally no crime
Movements that are not considered acts: things not the production of person's volitions--someone else moves you; sleepwalking or not otherwise conscious; reflex or convulsion
- not required to act unless there is a legal duty, knowledge of the facts giving rise to the duty and an ability to aid


Legal duty created by:

Statute: filing tax returns, professionals reporting child abuse
K: babysitters, doctors, lifeguards
Status relationship: parent-child, spouse-spouse
Voluntary assumption of care: if a rescue is started, it must be continued
Creation of the peril: hitting a pedestrian with a car, even if driving carefully


Possession as an act:

requires control for a period of time long enough to have an opportunity to terminate the possession
- Constructive possession: the contraband need not be in the defendant's actual possession so long as it is close enough for him to exercise dominion and control over it


Mental States: Common Law--Specific Intent

The crime requires not just the desire to do the act, but the desire to bring about a specific result
- assault
- first degree premeditated murder
- larceny
- embezzlement
- false pretenses
- burglary
- solicitation
- attempt
-2nd degree murder



DOES NOT merge into the underlying offense on an aiding or abetting theory
Persuading the solicited person not to commit the crime or otherwise preventing its commission is a defense in KS except for crimes involving terrorism or weapons of mass destruction



KS law requires merely an overt act going beyond mere preparation


Second degree murder

is a specific intent crime in KS


Mental States: Common Law- Malice

Defendant acts intentionally or with reckless disregard of an obvious or known risk
- murder
- arson


Mental States: Common Law -general intent

Defendant need only be generally aware of the factors constituting the crime
- battery
- forcible rape
- kidnapping
- false imprisonment


Mental States: Common Law - Strict Liability

The crime requires only doing the act, no mental state is needed
- public welfare crimes: regulatory or morality offenses that carry small penalties, such as selling alcohol to a minor, selling contaminated food or corrupting the morals of a minor
- statutory rape: having sex with someone under the age of consent
- in KS no intent is required regarding a minor's age


Common Law Mistake: Mistake of Fact

Whether a D's mistake of fact will be a defense depends on mental state for the crime and whether the mistake is reasonable or unreasonable
- If specific intent crime: any mistake will be a defense
- If general intent or malice crime: only a reasonable mistake will be a defense
- if SL crime: mistake will never be defense


Common Law Mistake: Mistake of Law

Never a defense
- Except: if the statute specifically makes knowledge of the law an element of the crime (knowingly selling a gun to a felon)


Model Penal Code Mental States: Purposely

When it is the defendant's conscious object to accomplish a particular result -- the defendant meant to do it
- mistake of fact is a defense
- In KS, if the crime does not state a state of mind requirement, every element must be done purposely or knowingly -- but reckless is enough if the crime so provides


Model Penal Code Mental States: Knowingly

D is aware of what he is doing
- mistake of fact is a defense


Model Penal Code Mental States: Recklessly

D is aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk, and consciously disregards that risk
- mistake of fact is defense


Model Penal Code Mental States: Negligently

D should have known about a substantial and unjustifiable risk
- only reasonable mistake of fact is a defense


Model Penal Code Mental States: Strict Liability

No mental state required
- mistake of fact is NOT a defense


Causation: Actual

but for cause of harm--- an accelerating cause is an actual cause


Causation: Proximate

legal causation, the natural and probable result of conduct
- requires foreseeability and fairness


Causation: eggshell victims

D will not be considered a probable cause



Under CL, death must occur within a year and a day from act for it to be criminal homicide.


Common Law Homicide: Murder

Causing the death of another person with malice aforethought
- Malice aforethought means:
- intent to kill
- Intent to inflict great bodily harm
- extreme recklessness: depraved heart murder, unintentional killing
- felony murder
- Deadly weapon rule: the intentional use of a deadly weapon creates an inference of an intent to kill
- transferred intent: if a D intends to harm one victim but accidentally kills a different victim instead, the D's intent will transfer from intended victim to the actual victim (but transferred intent does not apply to attempts, only to crimes with completed harms


Common Law Homicide: Voluntary Manslaughter

An intentional killing committed in the heat of passion after adequate provocation -- provocation must be such that would arouse a sudden and intense anger in the mind of an ordinary person and the defendant did not have time to cool off
- Examples: serious assault/battery, finding spouse in bed with adulterer; words alone are not enough


Common Law Homicide: Involuntary Manslaughter

A killing committed with criminal negligence or a killing committed during a crime if it is not felony murder.
Also called misdemeanor manslaughter


Common Law Homicide: Felony Murder

Any killing caused during the commission of or attempt to commit a felony.
- Limitations:
- Defendant must be convicted of felony
- the felony must be inherently dangerous
- the felony must be separate from killing itself
- the killing must be during the felony or during immediate flight from the felony
- the death must foreseeable
- the victim must not be a co-felon
- Vicarious Liability: if one of the co-felons causes the death, all of the other co-felons will be guilty of felony murder; applies even if the actual killing was committed by a third person so long as one of the felons is a proximate cause of the death.


Model Penal Code Homicide: Murder

Intent to kill: requires premeditation and deliberation
Extreme recklessness: similar to common law rule
Felony murder: limited to six felonies
- burglary
- robbery
- arson
- kidnapping
- escaping from custody
- sexual assault