Infractions- (like traffic tickets), which are minor violations and, usually, the punishment is having to pay a fine. Felonies- are serious crimes like armed robbery, arson, carjacking, rape, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, drug dealing, and murder. This is only a partial list but the thing to remember about felonies is that you will have over one year in prison if convicted. Misdemeanors- are lesser offenses like assault, reckless driving, drug possession (small quantity), and shoplifting. Misdemeanors usually result in jail time up to a year if convicted. *Jail is usually run by the county and houses people serving misdemeanor sentences and waiting to have their felony or misdemeanor trial in that county. Prisons are usually run by the state and house people who have committed felonies.* BURDEN OF PROOF-
The burden of proof in criminal cases is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the prosecutor must prove all of the elements of the crime. The jury will be told to find the defendant not guilty of the crime charged if the jurors think that the prosecutor has not proven all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. -Crimes are usually broken up into two pieces, did the defendant commit the criminal act (the actus reus) and did the defendant have the required mental state (the mens rea) at the time the defendant committed the crime. DEFENSES-
There are some defenses that a person charged with a crime can bring up to try to negate either the actus reus, mens rea, or both. Types of defenses are: duress, infancy, insanity, intoxication, necessity and self-defense. THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN CRIMINAL CASE-
Principal (defendant) - the person who commits the crime
Accomplice- a person who helps the principal commit the crime Accessory before the fact- the person who gives the principal some information that enables the principal to commit the crime Accessory after the fact- someone who knows the principal committed a crime but helps the principal get away or conceal the fact that they have committed a crime. Prosecutor- generic term for the government's attorney in a criminal case, including District Attorney, States Attorney, United States Attorney, Attorney General, Solicitor General, or special prosecutor. A special prosecutor may be assigned to investigate as well as prosecute if necessary when a government official is involved directly or indirectly in the possible criminal activity. *Most jurisdictions now just use principal and accomplice*
GETTING READY TO COMMIT THE CRIME-
Attempt- If a person attempts to commit a crime, they can be charged with the attempt. Most states have passed laws that make it a crime to attempt to commit a crime. Typically to be found guilty of attempt you must have the mental intent (mens rea) for the crime and take some substantial step toward committing the crime. It is possible to renounce (this means deciding not to commit the crime) the attempt to commit the crime, but the person must voluntarily change their mind. Conspiracy-A conspiracy is when two or more people plan to commit some criminal act together. All that is needed to satisfy the mental intent necessary for a conspiracy is that they intended to engage in the criminal act. Solicitation-Solicitation is when someone requests or encourages another person to commit a crime. TYPES OF CRIMES:
Arson-Arson is when an individual sets fire to a piece of property like a building or house, or even a piece of personal property like an expensive jacket. The key with arson is that it must be done intentionally.
Assault-You have probably heard the term assault and battery. These two terms are directly connected and you need to understand battery to understand assault. A battery is when someone touches or injures you and you did not want, or ask to be touched or injured. Assault occurs when someone tries to batter you and fails OR they do something that makes you...
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