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LAW: CRIMINAL LAW PowerPoint Presentation
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  3. FELONIES • FELONY: A major crime for which the penalty may be imprisonment for a year or longer and possibly even death. • A person convicted of a felony may be barred from certain types of work, such as the practice of law or police work. • Also, some states will not permit anyone convicted of a felony to hold public office. CRIMES

  4. FELONIES • Examples of felonies include murder, manslaughter, burglary, robbery, arson, etc. CRIMES

  5. MISDEMEANORS • MISDEMEANOR: Any crime for which the maximum penalty is a year in jail or less. • Examples of misdemeanors include driving without a license, prostitution, resisting arrest, public intoxication, petty theft, etc. CRIMES

  6. PETTY OFFENSES • Some states also classify lesser crimes as petty offenses, also known as infractions, into a sub-group of misdemeanors. • PETTY OFFENSE: A minor misdemeanor that never warrants any time in jail. • Examples of petty offenses include traffic offenses, parking violations, littering, etc. CRIMES

  7. WOBBLERS • Many criminal offenses, however, fall into the category known as “wobblers.” • WOBBLER: A crime that is not statutorily defined as either a felony or misdemeanor. • Whether a wobbler will be considered a felony or misdemeanor in a particular case depends upon the prosecutor’s charging decision and the actual punishment imposed by the trial court. CRIMES

  8. WOBBLERS • Examples of wobblers include assault, battery, vandalism, larceny, etc. CRIMES


  10. ELEMENTS OF A CRIME • By default, there can be no crime without law. • If an act is to be prohibited, a legally authoritative body (such as Congress or a state legislature) must spell out in advance what behavior is banned. • The U.S. Constitution requires that criminal laws be written in precise terms so that a citizen can determine what conduct is illegal. CRIMES

  11. ELEMENTS OF A CRIME • With a few exceptions, a person can be convicted of a crime only if they do something that violates a criminal law and do it intentionally. • These two requirements are called criminal act (physical element) and criminal intent (mental element). CRIMES

  12. ELEMENTS OF A CRIME • CRIMINAL ACT: The forbidden act outlined in criminal statutes which describe what must take place for a crime to occur. • CRIMINAL INTENT:The guilty state of mind required to commit a criminal act. CRIMES

  13. ELEMENTS OF A CRIME • For an act to be a crime, both the criminal act and criminal intent must occur at the same time—in other words, the criminal intent must precede or coexist with the criminal act. CRIMES

  14. MOTIVE • MOTIVE: The reason for committing a crime. • Prosecutors often offer motive evidence as circumstantial evidence that a defendant acted intentionally or knowingly. • Judges and jurors are more likely to believe that a defendant had intent if they know that the defendant had a motive to commit an illegal act. CRIMES

  15. MOTIVE • On the other hand, defendants may offer evidence showing that they had no motive to commit a crime, and then argue that the lack of a motive demonstrates reasonable doubt of guilt. • Motive technically plays no part in proving criminal liability, however. CRIMES

  16. MOTIVE • Therefore, if a person has committed a forbidden act with the required state of mind, they are criminally liable, regardless if the motive has been uncovered. CRIMES


  18. PRELIMINARY CRIMES • The crimes of solicitation, conspiracy, and attempt are known as preliminary crimes, since they occur before the intended crime. • Preliminary crimes are punishable because they go far beyond merely thinking about committing an illegal act. CRIMES

  19. SOLICITATION • SOLICITATION: When someone asks another to commit a crime for them, when someone asks another for assistance in committing a crime, and/or when someone advises another on how to commit a crime. • The offense is committed at the time the solicitation is made. CRIMES

  20. SOLICITATION • It does not require that the solicited person actually commits the crime. CRIMES

  21. CONSPIRACY • CONSPIRACY: An agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. • But in order for conspiracy to be committed, more is required than a mere agreement. • One of the conspirators must do an overt act that furthers the conspiracy. CRIMES

  22. CONSPIRACY • Conspiracy is a crime separate from the crime the parties planned to commit. • The intended crime does not actually have to be achieved. • The designation of conspiracy as a crime allows police to arrest conspirators before they come dangerously close to completing the crime. CRIMES

  23. ATTEMPT • ATTEMPT: When someone intends on committing a crime and comes dangerously close to completing it. • This occurs when the criminal enters the “zone of perpetration”—the vicinity where the criminal is close enough to the victim that the crime could actually committed. CRIMES

  24. HOMICIDE • HOMICIDE: The killing of one person by another. • Homicide is divided into categories based on the circumstances of the killing and intent. • The punishment for an act of homicide depends on the category it falls into. • Justifiable homicide, excusable homicide, negligent homicide, murder, and manslaughter are all forms of homicide. CRIMES

  25. HOMICIDE • JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE: When a police officer kills a criminal in the line of duty or in self-defense. • EXCUSABLE HOMICIDE:When someone is killed by accident and no one is at fault. • Justifiable and excusable homicides are not subject to criminal charges, whereas murder and manslaughter are criminal offenses. CRIMES

  26. MURDER • MURDER: The unlawful killing of another human being with malice. • MALICE: The intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another. • Most states break murder down into two degrees: 1st and 2nd. CRIMES

  27. MURDER • Malice is a common denominator in both 1st and 2nd degree murder, but premeditation only occurs in 1st; that is the main difference between the two. • PREMEDITATION: The contemplation of a crime in advance which shows deliberate intent; also referred to as deliberation and malice aforethought. CRIMES

  28. MURDER • The time needed for deliberate premeditation may vary from weeks, days, hours, minutes, or even seconds but there must be convincing evidence that a plan to commit a crime was formed. • In most states, 1st degree murder usually carries the death penalty, 2nd degree murder does not. CRIMES

  29. 1st DEGREE MURDER • 1st DEGREE MURDER: The premeditated, willful, and deliberate killing of another. • 1st degree murder is also referred to as murder one or capital murder. CRIMES

  30. 2nd DEGREE MURDER • 2nd DEGREE MURDER:A murder in which the suspect intended to kill or even seriously harm the victim, but the killing was not premeditated—a spontaneous or “spur-of-the-moment” killing. • The intent to kill did not exist until the moment of the murder. CRIMES

  31. FELONY MURDER • FELONY MURDER: Any death that results during the commission of a felony. • Even if the killing was accidental, it is not necessary to prove intent. • Malice is presumed because the homicide occurred during the felony. CRIMES

  32. FELONY MURDER • Many jurisdictions make distinctions as to whether felony murder will be 1st degree or 2nd degree depending on the type of felony that was committed. • The crimes of arson, burglary, robbery, and rape generally make felony murder a 1st degree offense. CRIMES

  33. MANSLAUGHTER • MANSLAUGHTER: The unlawful killing of another human being without premeditation. • VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER: A killing, which otherwise would be murder, that occurs after the accused was provoked to a temporary mental state lacking self-control or reason. • Courts refer to this temporary state of mind as the “heat of passion.” CRIMES

  34. MANSLAUGHTER • Voluntary manslaughter is punished somewhat less severely than murder as a concession to the imperfection of human character. • This is because the law recognizes that people sometimes do things they normally wouldn’t do when they are very angry or upset and haven’t had time to cool off. CRIMES

  35. MANSLAUGHTER • Therefore, the only real difference between 2nd degree murder and voluntary manslaughter is circumstance and sentencing. CRIMES

  36. MANSLAUGHTER • INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER: An unintentional but unlawful killing caused by a reckless or negligent act. • The death results from the suspect’s criminal negligence, rather than any intent to kill the victim. CRIMES

  37. MANSLAUGHTER • NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE: A lesser-included offense of manslaughter committed while carelessly or recklessly operating a vehicle. • In Michigan, negligent homicide is a high misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine up to $2,000. CRIMES

  38. BATTERY • BATTERY: Any unlawful physical contact inflicted by one person upon another without consent. • Battery requires criminal intent or at least reckless behavior. • Actual injury is not necessary for a battery to occur. CRIMES

  39. BATTERY • Other examples of battery include giving poison or drugs to an unsuspecting victim, spitting in someone’s face, and siccing a dog on someone. CRIMES

  40. ASSAULT • ASSAULT: Any attempt or threat to carry out a physical attack upon another person. • Simple assault and battery are misdemeanor offenses, whereas • Aggravated assault and battery are felony offenses. CRIMES

  41. ASSAULT • To qualify as an aggravated offense, the assault or battery would have to be committed with a deadly weapon, or with the intent to commit murder, rape, or robbery. • Today, there is often not much difference between the uses of the words assault and battery. CRIMES

  42. STALKING • STALKING: A clear pattern of conduct in which the offender follows, harasses, or threatens another person, causing the victim to fear for their safety. • An individual may be charged with stalking regardless of any prior relationship with the victim. CRIMES

  43. KIDNAPPING • KIDNAPPING: The unlawful removal of a person against their will. • Kidnapping usually includes unlawful imprisonment for motives of ransom, terrorism, torture, rape, or to commit a felony. CRIMES

  44. FALSE IMPRISONMENT • FALSE IMPRISONMENT: The deliberate confinement of a person without their consent orwithout legal justification (for example, a lawful arrest). • The confinement can be physical or psychological. CRIMES

  45. RAPE • RAPE: Forcible sexual conduct without consent. • There is no consent if the victim is unconscious or mentally incompetent. • The rapist does not necessarily have to use physical force; • Threats of harm are sufficient. CRIMES

  46. RAPE • Rape can occur when the offender and victim have a pre-existing relationship, sometimes called "date rape", or even when the offender is the victim's spouse. • Rape is a very serious form of aggravated battery for which the penalties are very severe. CRIMES

  47. STATUTORY RAPE • STATUTORY RAPE: Sexual conduct between an adult and a minor. • Statutory rape differs from rape in a very important way: consent is not an element of the crime. • According to the law, a minor is incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse. CRIMES

  48. STATUTORY RAPE • The definition of age varies from state to state. • The age of majority in Michigan is 16. • Adults can be prosecuted for statutory rape even if the minor lied about their age. • Conversely, minors can also be prosecuted for having sex with other minors. CRIMES

  49. SEX CRIMES • The perpetrator and victim of both rape and statutory rape can be of either sex; therefore, women as well as men can be prosecuted. • Generally speaking, the younger the victim, the more serious the offense andmore severe the penalty. CRIMES

  50. SEX CRIMES • In Michigan, all rape laws fall within a category entitled Criminal Sexual Conduct (C.S.C.). CRIMES