Crimlaw - CRIMINAL LAW I Jurisdiction and General Matters A...

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CRIMINAL LAW I. Jurisdiction and General Matters A. Situs : any state where act constituting element of crime took place or where the result occurred has jurisd. 1. E.g. Shoot V from NJ and kill in NY. Can prosecute in NJ, NY. B. Classification of Crimes 1. Felonies: punishable by a maximum of imprisonment for more than one year 2. Misdemeanors: punishable by less than one year; fine C. Merger 1. Common Law: Engage in conduct constituting both felony and misdemeanor, misdemeanor merge into felony. Could be convicted only of felony. 2. Modern Law : no merger except: a. One who solicits another to commit a crime may not be convicted of both solicitation and completed crime. b. Cannot be convicted of both the attempt and completed crime. i. Conspiracy does not merge with the completed offense. II. Essential Elements of a Crime (physical act, mental state, causation, concurrence) A. Physical Act – act is a voluntary bodily movement . 1. Not voluntary, no criminal responsibility a. Movement not product of actor’s volition b. Sleepwalking/ unconscious 2. OMISSION a. Legal Duty to Act i. By statute (file tax returns) ii. By Contract (lifeguard, babysitter, doctor) iii. Status Relationship (parent-child; spouse-spouse) iv. Voluntary Assumption of care (e.g. start helping must continue helping) v. Creation of the Peril (e.g. cause car accident; push person in pool) b. D has knowledge of facts giving rise to duty (see kid drowning not know yours) c. Reasonably possible to perform duty. (e.g. cannot swim do not have to jump in) B. MENTAL STATE Common Law 1. Specific intent : crime requires not just performing act but doing with specific intent/objective a. Assault, First degree premeditated murder, larceny, embezzlement, false pretenses, robbery, forgery, burglary, solicitation, conspiracy, attempt) 2. Malice – Reckless disregard of an obvious/known risk a. Common law murder and arson b. Defenses to specific intent crimes (e.g. voluntary intoxication) do not apply. 3. General Intent: D need only be aware of all factors constituting the crime. a. D need not intend specific result. Generally infer just from D committing crime. b. Battery, rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment. c. Transferred Intent: D intends harm that is actually caused but to a different V or object. 4. Strict Liability: Ds state of mind does not matter a . Public Welfare Offense : morality/regulatory that carries small penalty (selling alcohol to a minor) b. Statutory Rape Doctrine of Mistake 1. Mistake of Fact: reasonable mistake of fact defense to any crime except a crime of strict liability. a. Unreasonable mistake of fact – defense only to specific intent crime. 2. Mistake of Law : Not a defense unless the specific crime makes knowledge of law an element (E.g. selling a gun knowingly to a felon) NEW YORK MENTAL STATES 1.
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