A crime is something that someone does or fails to do that violates a law.
A crime has two parts:
Some sort of bad act ( actus reus )
A guilty state of mind ( mens rea )
Crimes are defined by elements , each of which has to be proven at trial to convict the accused.
Crimes must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt .
A federal crime is one which violates federal law or involves federal property.
A state crime is any other kind of crime.
A felony is a crime punishable by more than one year in prison.
A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by a year or less in prison.
The person who commits a crime is the principal .
An accomplice is someone who actively helps commit the crime.
An accessory before the fact is someone who helps commit the crime but is not present during the commission of the crime.
An accessory after the fact is someone who helps the principal after the crime has been committed.
Jeb and Marci decide to burglarize Superior Jewelers. Their friend Carl, an employee at Superior, helps by telling them the location of the store vault. Marci drives a van to the store and keeps a lookout while Jeb goes inside and cracks the safe.
After Jeb and Marci make their getaway, Jeb meets a friend, Shawn, who was not involved in the actual burglary. Jeb tells Shawn about the burglary, and Shawn helps Jeb get a train out of town.
David, a former classmate of Jeb and Marci, witnesses the crime but does not tell the police, even though he recognizes both Jeb and Marci.
A crime of omission happens when someone fails to perform an act required by law.
The crime of solicitation occurs when someone asks someone else to commit a crime.
A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime.
Usually some sort of overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy is required for conviction.
An attempt occurs when someone performs all of the elements of a crime but fails to achieve the desired result.
Gilbert, an accomplished thief, is caught while trying to pick Lewis’s pocket. He pleads not guilty and says he cannot possibly be convicted because Lewis didn’t have any money on him.
Rita and Anwar decide to rob a liquor store. They meet at a pub and talk over their plans. Rita leaves to buy a revolver and Anwar leaves to steal a car for use in their getaway. Rita is arrested when she walks out of the gun store with her new revolver. Anwar is arrested while trying to hot-wire a car.
Amy decides to burn down her store to collect the insurance money. She is arrested while leaving the store to get a book of matches.
Homicide is the killing of one human being by another.
First degree murder is killing that is premeditated, deliberate, and done with malice.
Second degree murder is killing that is done with malice, but without premeditation or deliberation.
Voluntary manslaughter is a crime that would otherwise be murder except that the killer had lost self-control.
Involuntary manslaughter is killing through recklessness.
Negligent homicide is killing through criminal negligence – a failure to exercise the proper amount of care.
Noncriminal homicides are killings which are justified or excused for some reason.
Felony murder is a killing occurring while a felony is being committed.
Walt decides to shoot Yolanda, whom he blames for all his troubles. As he is driving to her home to carry out the murder, he accidentally hits a jogger who darted out from behind a tree. Stopping immediately, Walt rushes to help the jogger, who is already dead.
Bella is cheated when she buys a car from Fast Eddie’s Car Mart. She attempts to return the car, but Eddie just laughs and tells her to go away. Every time Bella makes a repair on the car, she gets angry. Finally, she decides to wreck Eddie’s car to get even with him. Bella attempts to ram Eddie’s car, trying to do major damage to the car. Instead, she ruptures the gas tank, which explodes and kills Eddie.
Alison and Brad decide to rob a bank. Brad drives the getaway car. Alison goes into the bank and pulls out her gun, announcing, “This is a stickup! Don’t move!” The bank guard, Gordon, shoots at Alison but misses, killing Dawn, a customer.
Assault is any attempt or threat to carry out a physical attack on someone else.
Battery is an unlawful physical contact inflicted without consent with the intent to do harm.
Rape is sexual intercourse without consent.
Statutory rape is intercourse between an adult and a minor.
Mo. Rev. Stat. 566.032. 1. A person commits the crime of statutory rape in the first degree if he has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than fourteen years old.
2. Statutory rape in the first degree or an attempt to commit statutory rape in the first degree is a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than five years.
Mo. Rev. Stat. 566.034. 1. A person commits the crime of statutory rape in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.
2. Statutory rape in the second degree is a class C felony [up to seven years].
At midnight, a man breaks into the home of a woman he does not know. He goes to her bedroom, awakens her, pulls out a knife, and threatens to stab her unless she has sex with him. She tells him that she does not want to have sex. But then she says, “If you are going to do this, you’d better wear a condom.” He agrees.
A male high school student, aged 17, and a female high school student, aged 14, go out on a date. After attending a party, they agree to have intercourse in his car. The next day, he brags about this at school, and she goes to the police. There is some evidence that he is part of an informal organization of high school seniors who are involved in a competition to have sex with as many girls as possible.
Lori, a 25-year old high school teacher, becomes a good friend of Jim, a 16-year old student in one of her classes. On a senior class trip to the state capital, Jim knocks on her hotel room door late at night. Lori lets him in, and they have sexual intercourse.