Assignment 4 The Elements of Criminal Liability - Latisha...

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Latisha McKellar AC1608408 J02.V.4.1: Criminal Law Assignment 4: The Elements of Criminal Liability June 9, 2017
Actus Reus, Mens Rea and Concurrence There are three elements of criminal liability: actus reus, mens rea, and concurrence. Actus reus is Latin for “evil act,” mens rea is Latin meaning “guilty mind,” and concurrence is the requirement that both the actus reus and the mens rea happen together. These elements are the essentials when investigating and prosecuting an individual charged with a crime. As previously stated the actus reus is the evil act, the most essential element, without the action there is no crime on the part of the accused. An intention to inflict harm is not criminal, it must be coupled with an action. Someone cannot be guilty of committing a crime unless it is a voluntary action. Once there is an indication that the action was not voluntary the defense has to prove that such actions where as such. A criminal act is physical movement, movement that can be seen by others. An act is considered voluntary when it is in some way the will of the person committing it. It can be voluntary even if it is a habit or is inadvertent (Worrall, 2013 p.94). If there was is an option to do differently, then the person is willfully engaging thus considering it voluntary. The actus reus requirement is satisfied either way. The Model Penal Code states the conduct of criminal liability “includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which one is physically capable.” Meaning that if there is at least one voluntary act in a chain of actions actus reus is in place. It further defines an act as “bodily movement whether voluntary or involuntary,” this includes reflexes, convulsions, conduct committed during sleep, hypnosis, or while unconscious; and “a bodily movement that otherwise is not the product of the effort or determination of the person, either conscious or unconscious” (Worrall, 2013 p.103).
Mens rea, the guilty mind, is the second critical element. A person cannot be held

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