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Intent (law)
In criminal law, intent is a subjective state of mind () that must accompany the acts of certain crimes to constitute a violation. A more formal, generally synonymous legal term is : intent or knowledge of wrongdoing. Definitions Intent is defined in English law by the ruling in ''R v Mohan'' 976QB 1 as "the decision to bring about a prohibited consequence" ( malum prohibitum). A range of words represents shades of ''intent'' in criminal laws around the world. The mental element, or ''mens rea'', of murder, for example, was historically called malice aforethought. In some jurisdictions transferred intent allows the prosecution for intentional murder if a death occurs in the course of committing an intentional felony. The intent for the felony is transferred to the killing in this type of situation. The language of "malice" is mostly abandoned and intent element of a crime, such as intent to kill, may exist without a malicious motive, or even with a benevolent motive, such as ...
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Criminal Law
Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It prescribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and moral welfare of people inclusive of one's self. Most criminal law is established by statute, which is to say that the laws are enacted by a legislature. Criminal law includes the punishment and rehabilitation of people who violate such laws. Criminal law varies according to jurisdiction, and differs from civil law, where emphasis is more on dispute resolution and victim compensation, rather than on punishment or rehabilitation. Criminal procedure is a formalized official activity that authenticates the fact of commission of a crime and authorizes punitive or rehabilitative treatment of the offender. History The first civilizations generally did not distinguish between civil law and criminal law. The first written codes of law were designed by the Sumerians. Around 2100–2050 BC Ur-Nammu, the ...
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Felony
A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousness, whereas a misdemeanor is regarded as less serious. The term "felony" originated from English common law (from the French medieval word "félonie") to describe an offense that resulted in the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods, to which additional punishments including capital punishment could be added; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Following conviction of a felony in a court of law, a person may be described as a felon or a convicted felon. Some common law countries and jurisdictions no longer classify crimes as felonies or misdemeanors and instead use other distinctions, such as by classifying serious crimes as indictable offences and less serious crimes as summary offences. In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable b ...
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R V Woollin
''R v Woollin'' was a decision of the highest court of law-defining in English criminal law, in which the subject of intention in '' mens rea'', especially for murder was examined and refined. Facts Having given various explanations for his three-month-old son's injuries in the ambulance and in the first two police interviews, Woollin eventually admitted that he had 'lost his cool' when his son had choked on his food. He had picked him up, shaken him and thrown him across the room with considerable force towards a pram next to a wall about away. He stated that he had not intended nor thought that he would kill the child and had not wanted the child to die. His actions caused the infant's death as the child hit the floor hard, missing the pram. Appeals Woollin's murder conviction was quashed (but not so in the Court of Appeal); leave having been given by the House not the lower court, as the jury instructions Jury instructions, directions to the jury, or judge's charge are le ...
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Conspiracy
A conspiracy, also known as a plot, is a secret plan or agreement between persons (called conspirers or conspirators) for an unlawful or harmful purpose, such as murder or treason, especially with political motivation, while keeping their agreement secret from the public or from other people affected by it. In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of people united in the goal of usurping, altering or overthrowing an established political power. Depending on the circumstances, a conspiracy may also be a crime, or a civil wrong. The term generally implies wrongdoing or illegality on the part of the conspirators, as people would not need to conspire to engage in activities that were lawful and ethical, or to which no one would object. There are some coordinated activities that people engage in with secrecy that are not generally thought of as conspiracies. For example, intelligence agencies such as the American CIA and the British MI6 necessarily make plans in secret t ...
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Attempt
An attempt to commit a crime occurs if a criminal has an intent to commit a crime and takes a substantial step toward completing the crime, but for reasons not intended by the criminal, the final resulting crime does not occur.''Criminal Law - Cases and Materials'', 7th ed. 2012, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business; John Kaplan (law professor), Robert Weisberg, Guyora Binder, /ref> Attempt to commit a particular crime is a crime, usually considered to be of the same or lesser gravity as the particular crime attempted. Attempt is a type of inchoate crime, a crime that is not fully developed. The crime of attempt has two elements, intent and some conduct toward completion of the crime.Defining Attempts: Mandujano's Error, Duke University, Michael R. Fishman/ref> One group of theories in criminal law is that attempt to commit an act occurs when a person comes dangerously close to carrying out a criminal act, and intends to commit the act, but does not commit it. The person may have ...
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Inchoate Offence
An inchoate offense, preliminary crime, inchoate crime or incomplete crime is a crime of preparing for or seeking to commit another crime. The most common example of an inchoate offense is "attempt". "Inchoate offense" has been defined as the following: "Conduct deemed criminal without actual harm being done, provided that the harm that would have occurred is one the law tries to prevent."See lists and chapters of texts at McCord and McCord, ''Infra,'' pp. 185-213, and Schmalleger, ''Infra'', pp. 105-161, 404. Intent Every inchoate crime or offense must have the ''mens rea'' of intent or of recklessness, typically intent. Absent a specific law, an inchoate offense requires that the defendant have the specific intent to commit the underlying crime. For example, for a defendant to be guilty of the inchoate crime of solicitation of murder, he or she must have intended for a person to die. Attempt, conspiracy, and solicitation all require ''mens rea''. On the other hand, committi ...
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Right Of Self-defense
The right of self-defense (also called, when it applies to the defense of another, alter ego defense, defense of others, defense of a third person) is the right for people to use reasonable or defensive force, for the purpose of defending one's own life (self-defense) or the lives of others, including – in certain circumstances – the use of deadly force. If a defendant uses defensive force because of a threat of deadly or grievous harm by the other person, or a reasonable perception of such harm, the defendant is said to have a "perfect self-defense" justification.Criminal Law Cases and Materials, 7th ed. 2012; John Kaplan, Robert Weisberg, Guyora Binder If defendant uses defensive force because of such a perception, and the perception is not reasonable, the defendant may have an " imperfect self-defense" as an excuse. General concepts – legal theory The early theories make no distinction between defense of the person and defense of property. Whether consciously ...
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Grievous Bodily Harm
Grievous bodily harm (often abbreviated to GBH) is a term used in English criminal law to describe the severest forms of battery. It refers to two offences that are created by sections 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. The distinction between these two sections is the requirement of specific intent for section 18; the offence under section 18 is variously referred to as "wounding with intent" or "causing grievous bodily harm with intent",Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice, 1999, paragraph 19-201 at page 1614 whereas the offence under section 20 is variously referred to as "unlawful wounding", "malicious wounding" or "inflicting grievous bodily harm". Statute Section 18 This section now reads: The words omitted in the first to third places specifically included shooting or attempting to shoot, and included some words considered redundant; they were repealed by section 10(2) of, and Part III of Schedule 3 to, the Criminal Law Act 1967. ...
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English Law
English law is the common law legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly criminal law and civil law, each branch having its own courts and procedures. Principal elements of English law Although the common law has, historically, been the foundation and prime source of English law, the most authoritative law is statutory legislation, which comprises Acts of Parliament, regulations and by-laws. In the absence of any statutory law, the common law with its principle of ''stare decisis'' forms the residual source of law, based on judicial decisions, custom, and usage. Common law is made by sitting judges who apply both statutory law and established principles which are derived from the reasoning from earlier decisions. Equity is the other historic source of judge-made law. Common law can be amended or repealed by Parliament. Not being a civil law system, it has no comprehensive codification. However, most of its criminal law has been codified from its common ...
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Legislature
A legislature is an assembly with the authority to make law Law is a set of rules that are created and are enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been vario ...s for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, judicial powers of government. Laws enacted by legislatures are usually known as primary legislation. In addition, legislatures may observe and steer governing actions, with authority to amend the budget involved. The members of a legislature are called legislators. In a democracy, legislators are most commonly popularly Election, elected, although indirect election and appointment by the executive are also used, particularly for bicameralism, bicameral legislatures featuring an upper chamber. Terminology ...
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Battery (crime)
Battery is a criminal offense involving unlawful physical contact, distinct from assault which is the act of creating apprehension of such contact. Battery is a specific common law offense, although the term is used more generally to refer to any unlawful offensive physical contact with another person. Battery is defined at American common law as "any unlawful and or unwanted touching of the person of another by the aggressor, or by a substance put in motion by them". In more severe cases, and for all types in some jurisdictions, it is chiefly defined by statutory wording. Assessment of the severity of a battery is determined by local law. Generally Specific rules regarding battery vary among different jurisdictions, but some elements remain constant across jurisdictions. Battery generally requires that: # an offensive touch or contact is made upon the victim, instigated by the actor; and # the actor intends or knows that their action will cause the offensive touching. Un ...
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