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Flashcards in Page 4 Deck (49):

Are there any defenses to strict liability?

Only to challenge the actus reus by saying defendant didn't engage in a voluntary act


How does the MPC deal with strict liability?

Rejects strict liability, and only permits it for violations that are not crimes


What are the two alternatives to strict liability?

A) shifting burden of proof from prosecution to defendant
B) Objective negligence standard


If the prosecution shifts the burden of proof to the defendant, what must he do?

Prove that his actions were due to an honest mistake of fact or that he acted without guilty intent


What is the objective negligence standard?

You base liability on the negligence standard and charge that the defendant must act as carefully as he can


What is willful blindness?

When a person has strong suspicions they may be being used in a criminal scheme but deliberately and purposely choose not to make an inquiry or even slight investigatory step in order to remain ignorant


Deliberate ignorance and positive knowledge are what?

Equally culpable


What is an act?

Voluntary bodily movement


What does voluntary mean?

Any act that is the result of conscious and volitional movement and the muscular contraction is willed


What else does an act include?

An omission to act where there is a duty to act


What are exceptions that are not voluntary acts?

1. Reflex/Convulsion
2. Unconsciousness/Sleep
3. Hypnosis/hypnotic suggestion
4. Anything not a product of the effort/determination of the actor


What is a reflex/convulsion?

Muscular contraction that the mind has no share in


What is an example of a reflex/convulsion?

Knee-jerk, blinking, seizure


Why is reaching out to stop your fall not considered a reflex?

Because the mind has grasped the situation and dictated an action


If a defendant is susceptible to certain problems and knowingly took a risk, what do the courts say?

They stretch the period of actus reus to include the time in which the defendant knowingly took the risk, and say the act was voluntary


If a D drives with epilepsy and crashes, how do the courts resolve that?

They say the act is beginning to drive with the condition. A defendant that is aware of his tendency to seize is guilty of recklessly creating a situation where it is likely to cause great danger if it should materialize


If a defendant's automatism is the result of a disease of the mind, it must be treated as what?



Define automatism

Mechanical or involuntary action


Unconsciousness/sleep includes what?

Sleep or the clouded state between sleeping and waking


Are the courts completely sold on hypnosis-induced acts being not voluntary?

No, there is some argument about this


What is an example of something not being a product of the effort of the actor?

Someone pushing your body


What is the rule about duty?

Generally a person doesn't have a legal duty to aid someone in peril, except with certain situations


What are the seven situations that create a duty?

Relationship, statute, contract, voluntary assumption of care, creation of peril, control the conduct of others, landowner


What are examples of relationships that would cause a duty?

Parent – kids, husband – wife, mountain climbing partners


Example of a statute that would create a duty:

Drivers in an accident must stop and help


What are some examples of contracts that create a duty?

Babysitter – child, Nurse – Patient, lifeguard – drowner


What is the rule about voluntary assumption of care in relation to duty?

Once you have started to help someone, you have a duty to finish, especially if your conduct induced other would-be helpers not to help


What is an example of a situation where voluntary assumption of care creates a duty?

An expert swimmer tells child's parents he will watch her at the lake.... He will be liable if he lets her drown


If someone agrees to go with someone else to another place that will be isolated from all other aid, can that create a duty?

Yes, because of voluntary assumption of care


How does creation of peril create a duty?

If you put another person in danger (intentionally, negligently, or without fault) you have a duty to safeguard or rescue


How does controlling the conduct of others create a duty?

Some specific relationships impose a duty to control the other person's conduct in the interest of Public Safety


What is an example of a situation where one has a duty to control the conduct of others?

Parents must protect third parties from their child


How does a landowner owe a duty to others?

He must provide for the safety of people he invites onto his property


What is concurrence?

The physical conduct and the state of mind must concur, and if they don't it can bar a conviction


Is there a concurrent issue if there is a lag between the conduct and result?



What two things must be present to establish causation?

Actual cause, and proximate cause


What is actual cause?

But-for causation.
- Defendant's conduct must be the cause in fact of the result
- the victim must be a member of the class of persons foreseeably endangered
- the victim must be harmed in a manner which is foreseeable
- and the type and degree of harm suffered by the victim must be foreseeable


Does an act have to be the only cause to prove causation?

No, just a link in the chain. Ask if the defendant's conduct played a role in causing the harm


What is proximate cause?

The acts of the defendant were the direct and natural cause of the criminal result through a chain of events that was not broken by an unforeseeable intervening event


What is an easy way to remember proximate cause?

Would a person of ordinary intelligence have reasonably foreseen that such a result, or similar result was probable under the circumstances?


What is an unforeseeable intervening event?

A reasonably unforeseeable act occurring after defendant's act


Are crimes and intentional torts usually foreseeable intervening events?



How is proximate cause dealt with when a criminal act causes a foreseeable result, even though the results came through an unforeseeable sequence of events?

It is usually held to be the proximate cause


If a criminal act causes an unforeseeable result through an unforeseeable sequence of events, what does that do to causation?

It usually breaks the chain of causation and the defendant is not liable


Are negligent acts by others usually foreseeable?



When a defendant intends to cause death or serious injury, how do the courts usually find him for liability?

They tend to hold him liable for the ultimate death unless there's a very clear break in the causal chain


Where does liability lie in this situation?
- Alice shoots at Bobbi and misses, although Bobbi has a weak heart and dies of a heart attack

But-for the shot, Bobbi would not have died, so Alice is guilty of murder


When would a defendant that was the cause in fact of the result not be liable?

If the result was so far removed from the defendant's action in time, place, circumstances, or chain of events


What is the mnemonic used to help remember the seven no duty exceptions?