Criminal Law Rules of Law
The following contains the Rules of Law you'll need for the Criminal Law Practice Exam. These rules are presented in outline form only for purposes of the practice exam.
NOTE: Some rules are stated with elements that must be proven. Other rules are just stated without being broken into elements. In the latter case, you should figure out what the elements of the crime are yourself and incorporate that into your answer.
A person is guilty of conspiracy if:
Two or more people agree to commit a crime, and
the people intended to enter into the agreement, and
at least one of the conspirators commits some overt act (such as some act of preparation) that furthers the conspiracy.
NOTE: A party is guilty of conspiracy when these elements are satisfied. The actual crime does not have to occur in order to hold someone accountable for conspiracy.
NOTE: A conspirator is guilty of all the crimes that his co-conspirator commits that 1) further the conspiracy and 2) were foreseeable.
Defense to Subsequent Crimes
A person who is guilty of conspiracy does not have a valid defense if they withdraw, however, he has a valid defense to the subsequent crimes of the conspirators if he does the following:
engages in an affirmative act, and
the affirmative act gives notice to all co-conspirators that he is withdrawing, and
the co-conspirators have enough time to halt their plans to commit the crime.
Common Law rape is present if the following elements occur:
sexual intercourse between a female and a male, who is not her husband
AND the female does not consent.
Lack of consent is present where
the intercourse occurs by force or
the intercourse occurs by threats of force or
the female is unable to consent because she is unconscious
A person can be charged with an attempted crime (such as "attempted rape" or "attempted murder") even though the criminal did not complete all of the elements necessary to make the person guilty of the actual crime.The following must occur for a person to be guilty of an attempted crime.
Criminal shows intent to commit a crime, and
the criminal comes dangerously close to successfully completing the crime but somehow does not complete all of the required elements.
Murder occurs when the following elements are satisfied:
killing of a human being
with malice aforethought.
Malice aforethought exists if any one of the following states of mind exists in the person committing the act:
intent to kill, or
intent to cause substantial injury, or
reckless indifference to risk that a person may die, or
intent to commit a felony (See felony murder).
A criminal is guilty of felony murder if a death occurred while the criminal committed or attempted to commit a felony that is inherently dangerous.
An inherently dangerous felony includes any one of the following:
Someone who does not actually commit a crime may be guilty as an accessory after the fact if the following elements of the crime are met.
Must have knowledge that a felony has been committed.
Must aid or assist the felon in some way.
The purpose of the aid must be to help the felon escape from the authorities.
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