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Unformatted text preview: Criminal Law C HAPTER O UTLINE I. CIVIL LAW AND CRIMINAL LAW A. C IVIL L AW Civil law consists of the duties that exist between persons or between citizens and their governments, excluding the duty not to commit crimes. B. C RIMINAL L AW A crime is a wrong against society proclaimed in a statute and, if committed, punishable by society through fines, imprisonment, or death. Crimes are offenses against society as a whole (some torts are also crimes) and are prosecuted by public officials, not victims. In a criminal trial, the state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. II. CLASSIFICATION OF CRIMES Felonies are serious crimes punishable by death or by imprisonment in a fed eral or state penitentiary for more than a year. A crime that is not a felony is a misdemeanor —punishable by a fine or by confinement (in a local jail) for up to a year. Petty offenses are minor misdemeanors. III. THE ESSENTIALS OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY Two elements must exist for a person to be convicted of a crime— A. T HE C RIMINAL A CT ( A CTUS R EUS ) A criminal statute prohibits certain behavior—an act of commission (doing something) or an act of omission (not doing something that is a legal duty). B. S TATE OF M IND (I NTENT TO C OMMIT A C RIME , OR M ENS R EA ) The mental state required to establish criminal guilt depends on the crime. IV. CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY A. L IABILITY OF THE C ORPORATE E NTITY Corporations are liable for (1) crimes committed by their agents and employees within the course and scope of employment, (2) failing to perform a specific affirmative duty imposed by law, or (3) crimes authorized, commanded, committed, or recklessly tolerated by a firm’s high managerial agents. B. L IABILITY OF C ORPORATE O FFICERS AND D IRECTORS Directors and officers are personally liable for crimes they commit and may be liable for the actions of employees under their supervision. V. TYPES OF CRIMES A. V IOLENT C RIME These include murder, rape, assault and battery (see Chapter 12), and robbery (forcefully and unlaw fully taking personal property from another). They are classified by degree, depending on intent, use of weapons, and the victim’s suffering. B. P ROPERTY C RIME Robbery could also be in this category....
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course B A 241 taught by Professor Hippo,charlesway during the Fall '08 term at Penn State.
- Fall '08