Study Notes- Criminal Defenses

G lewd conduct with a very young girl mistake of law

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Unformatted text preview: in a justified (proper) act. But, if the jury acquits the perpetrator on the ground of an excuse, the jury has determined that a crime has occurred. The perpetrator’s excuse claim is personal to him, and should not protect the accomplice. Defenses to Attempt • Factual Impossibility • Legal Impossibility Negative Defenses • Force (actus reus): One is not liable for an act that someone else forces the defendant to do • Unconsciousness (actus reus): If not self- induced, unconsciousness is a complete defense to the actus reus element and therefore to the crime. • insanity, diminished capacity/actuality, mental defect (mens rea): The defendant can use these defenses for any subjective fault crime, which requires proof of the defendant's actual intent. (This includes all specific intent crimes and a few general intent crimes that require elements of, for instance, malice or knowledge.) • intoxication (mens rea): The defendant can use a defense of intoxication for any subjective fault crime except the implied malice of a murder. Intoxication can be used as a defense for general intent crimes to disprove a required element of a general intent crime. • mistake of fact (mens rea): If the crime is not a strict liability crime, a reasonable mistake of fact concerning one of the elements of the crime is a defense. A mistake of fact is not a defense if it merely concerns the degree of the crime (e.g. selling marijuana to a minor, which is illegal even if the buyer...
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