Elements of criminal battery
- Application of force;
- To another person;
- That causes bodily harm OR constitutes offensive touching
What is the mens rea for battery?
Since battery is a general intent crime, the mens rea is intent to cause harmful contact or offensive touching, not intent to cause a harmful result.
⚠️ Note: In most states and under the MPC, the mens rea can be satisfied if D acted recklessly or in a grossly negligent manner.
What circumstances elevate a misdemeanor battery to an aggravated battery?
- Causes serious bodily injury;
- Uses a deadly weapon; or
- Has intent to kill or intent to rape
What are the common defenses to battery?
- Valid consent;
Self-defense or defense of others; or
Necessity (battery was necessary to prevent a crime)
- Unsuccessful attempt to commit battery ("attempted-battery assault"); or
- Placing another in apprehension of immediate harm ("apprehension assault")
When does V have reasonable apprehension of imminent harm?
When V reasonably anticipates that D's act(s) will result in immediate bodily harm (subjective standard)
Differentiate between battery and assault
Battery: bodily harm or offensive touching
Assault: attempted battery or act that places V in fear of immediate harm (no touching required)
Do verbal threats alone constitute assault?
No. Words must be in conjunction with an overt threatening act or gesture to constitute assault.
What circumstances elevate assault to aggravated felony assault?
If assault is committed with:
- A dangerous weapon;
- Intent to rape or kill; or
- V is specially protected by statute
common law mayhem
Crime that disfigures or permanently disables V.
⚠️ Equivalent to modern aggravated battery
Elements of false imprisonment
Confinement of V;
- Without V's consent
Elements of kidnapping
Confinement of V;
Against V's will; and
- V is either moved or hidden
How far does D need to move V to satisfy the movement element (asportation) of kidnapping?
Very little. In some states, even moving V a few feet qualifies as asportation.
Is kidnapping a general intent crime or specific intent crime?
General intent crime → only need intent to commit the act.
Elements of common law rape
Sexual intercourse (requires penetration, however minimal);
- With a female;
Without consent; and
- With force or threat of force
⚠️ Note: Most modern statutes have abandoned the gender requirement and some have abandoned the force requirement.
If D makes a reasonable and honest mistake as to whether V consented, does D have the mens rea for rape?
No, the requisite mens rea is negated.
D has intercourse with a person below the statutorily prescribed age of consent.
Is statutory rape a general intent, specific intent, or strict liability crime?
Strict liability crime. Even if D reasonably believed V was of age, or V lied about their age, D is still liable.
The prosecution only needs to prove D intended to do the act itself.
⚠️ You can still be charged with attempt for statutory rape.
Dram Shop Rule
If a business sells alcoholic beverages to an obviously drunk person, they will be strictly liable for anyone injured by the drunken patron