Criminal Law – Clancy
Social Harm – actus reus fits into one of these categories:
1. Conduct Crime- crime is complete when the conduct occurs. The act itself results in the social harm. (i.e. carrying a concealed weapon – prohibits carrying a concealed weapon, and once carried, the crime is complete)
2. Result Crime – the result produces the social harm and that is what is punished. (i.e. murder)
3. Attendant Circumstances – look at the circumstances that surround the act (i.e. the sale of alcohol to someone who is under 21, driving while intoxicated – don’t normally punish driving – its only when intoxicated that this is a crime)
Actus Reus – physical element of a crime (guilty act)
Both physical and mental elements must occur at same time for criminal liability.
not liable for thoughts alone – must also be a physical act
(w/o an act there is no crime) MPC 2.01(2)
the following are involuntary acts MPC 2.01(2):
reflex or convulsion
bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep (driving while asleep is voluntary)
conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion
a bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor, either conscious or habitual. (catch-all)
§ Coerced Act→Voluntary.
§ Determination of choice makes the act voluntary.
1. the possessor knowingly procured or received the thing possessed or
2. was aware of his control thereof for a sufficient period of time to have been able to terminate his possession. (not always minimum time is required)
State v. Flaherty – D is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. D claims
That he had no knowledge that he was in possession of the firearm. Knowledge is a key aspect of possession.
-MPC requires you know the nature of the item you possess
Omission – Failure to act MPC 2.01(3)
Act = Bodily Movement
General rule- people are not liable for omissions.
eneral notion of blameworthiness
– this approach is less common (wantonness, malicious intent, willfulness, felonious intent, scienter, criminal intent)
2) Elemental – each crime has a specific mental state that has to be proved as part of the crime in order for the crime to be punishable.
-5 categories in the elemental approach (MPC definition)
a. purpose (sp. Intent)
b. knowledge (general Intent)
c. recklessness (conscious disregard)
e. strict liability (no mental state)
1. Purpose = Intent
a. Conduct or result– “Conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such as result.
-conscious desire to achieve a goal