- A physical act (or unlawful omission) by the defendant.
- Must be voluntary (product of own volition).
- The state of mind or intent of the defendant at the time of his act
- 1) Strict Liability
- 2) General Intent
- 3) Specific Intent
- 4) Knowingly
- 5) Recklessly
- 6) Criminal Negligence
- 7) Negligence
No intent crimes
- General Intent requires only that the defendant be aware that she is acting in the proscribed way.
- Can be inferred merely by committing the criminal act
- Defenses: reasonable mistake of fact is a defense to all
- Specific Intent requires not only the doing of an act, but the doing of it with a specific intent or objective.
- Statute specifies knowingly, with intent to means specific intent
- Specific intent crimes qualify for additional defenses not available for other kinds of crime.
- 1) Unreasonable mistake of fact
- 2) Diminished Capacity
Specific Intent CrimeS:
- a) solicitation, conspiracy, attempt
- b) first degree murder
- c) assault (as attempted battery)
- d) larceny
- e) embezzlement
- f) false pretenses
- g) robbery
- h) burglary
- i) forgery
Intent to commit crime can be transferred to victim different than originally intended victim
Accomplice liability - parties?
- 1) principal: actually commits the crime
- 2) accomplice: aids, abets, or counsels the principal with intent to commit the crime
- 3) accessory after the fact: intend to help a felon avoid apprehension after the felony, knowing he committed the felony)
Accomplice liability - what liability?
- 1) mere presence or knowledge not enough, must have a STAKE in the outcome
- 2) liable for the crime itself and all foreseeable crimes
Accessory after the fact - what liability?
- 1) CL, vicariously liable
- 2) Modernly, liable for obstruction of justice only. Not liable for crimes committed by principal.
- Note: Need knowledge of felony at that time the time of the assistance. Acquiring knowledge after the fact does not create accessory after the fact liability
- One who has rendered encouragement or aid to another may avoid liability as an accomplice if he voluntarily withdraws from the crime before it is actually committed by the principal.
- 1) If the person merely encouraged the commission of the crime, he must repudiate his encouragement.
- 2) If the person provided some material (e.g., gun), he must do all possible to retreive it.
- 3) Alternative: notify authorities or take some action to prevent commission of the crime
- note: withdrawal must be before the chain of events leading to the commission of the crime becomes unstoppable
- Element: asks or requests someone to commit a crime
- if the party solicited refuses, no defense!
- vicarious liability: if the party solicited actually commits the crime, the solicitor is also liable for the crime
- Merger: solicitation merges into conspiracy
- 1) an agreement--express or implied from conduct--to accomplish some unlawful purpose
- 2) intent to agree with another
- -----MPC Unilateral Conspiracy rule: one guilty mind is enough for conspiracy if the guilty mind believed the other party was actually agreeing
- -----Wharton's Rule: if the target crime requires 2 participants, then no conspiracy unless there are three participants
- 3) intent to acheive the objective of the agreement
- 4) overt act in furtherance of objective
- -----Minority rule: only need to have agreement, no overt act needed.
- -----but any little act will suffice!
Conspiracy - vicarious liability?
- Each conspirator is liable for all crimes of other conspirators if:
- 1) foreseeable, and
- 2) in furtherance of the felony
Minors/Legislative Intent: Conspiracy?
if the D is a member of the class that the statute was designed to protect, D is prevented from liability of conspiracy.
Withdrawal from conspiracy
- 1) must communicate intent to withdraw to all other conspirators before the target crime occurs
- 2) no withdrawal from liability for the conspiracy itself
Other defenses to conspiracy?
- No merger! conspiracy does not merge with target crime, so you are liable for both.
- No impossibility defense. still liable for conspiracy
- Definition: specific intent to commit target crime
- Requires: substantial step in the direction of the commission of the crime, or come dangerously close (mere preparation not enough)
- Merger: attempt merges with the committed crime
Defenses to attempt?
- 1) factual impossibility no defense, if the facts were as defendant believed them to be
- 2) legal impossibility is a defense when the acts defendant intended to commit are not a crime
- 3) abandonment no defense after the substantial steps have begun