Crim Law---any takers?

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goosey
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Crim Law---any takers?

Postby goosey » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:02 pm

how do you reconcile the mpc's legal wrong doctrine with the mpc's attempt rule? can they go together?

so if you were attempting to do something you thought wasnt a crime, but in reality, you were doing something that else thats a crime, would you be charged with attempt for the crime you were really doing? or does it not apply???

final tomorrow...I thought I understood crim. until today.

christmas mouse
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby christmas mouse » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:10 pm

its hard to answer this without a specific hypo. When you say the person tried to do something he thought wasn't a crime are you referring to a mistake of law? where what he did was a crime, but he just didnt know it was? or do you mean he tried to do a legal activity, but did it in an unlawful way? If you can come up with a specific hypo I'll try it out.

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dailygrind
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby dailygrind » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:21 pm

goosey wrote:how do you reconcile the mpc's legal wrong doctrine with the mpc's attempt rule? can they go together?

so if you were attempting to do something you thought wasnt a crime, but in reality, you were doing something that else thats a crime, would you be charged with attempt for the crime you were really doing? or does it not apply???

final tomorrow...I thought I understood crim. until today.


except cases of strict liability, you can't be charged with attempt for a crime you didn't think you were doing, total mistake of fact right thar. if you knew what you were doing, but you thought it was legal, that'd be a different story.

ogurty
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby ogurty » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:03 pm

From the facts you gave it sounds like he's guilty of the attempt. Attempt needs mens rea of purpose to the conduct - not necessarily purpose to commit a crime. Despite what the poster above me said, "I didn't know what I was doing" isn't a defense (unless reasonable reliance, Lambert loophole, or insanity defense).

If you thought you're doing something legal and it turns out to be illegal, you're guilty unless it's a collateral mistake (thought I was picking up my things, turns out to be someone else's) in which case you inquire into whether the mistake negatives the mens rea of the crime, which, for attempts, is purpose, so any honest collateral mistake of law should exculpate.

Also, the MPC legal wrong theory deals with when the person DOES think they're committing a crime, but doesn't know the extent of the crime. Usually it's something like assault on a police officer - at common law, you'd be guilty even if you had no idea it was a police officer, whereas under the MPC you'd be guilty only of assault. So apply that to an ATTEMPTED assault on a police officer and you have the same result - guilty of attempted assault. (Provided the mistake negatives whatever mens rea the completed crime is interpreted to need as to the circumstance element - probably recklessness in an MPC state).

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dailygrind
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby dailygrind » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:35 pm

her hypo: "attempting to do something you thought wasnt a crime, but in reality, you were doing something else thats a crime."

not a mistake of fact?

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goosey
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby goosey » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:34 pm

christmas mouse wrote:its hard to answer this without a specific hypo. When you say the person tried to do something he thought wasn't a crime are you referring to a mistake of law? where what he did was a crime, but he just didnt know it was? or do you mean he tried to do a legal activity, but did it in an unlawful way? If you can come up with a specific hypo I'll try it out.


its hard to think of a hypo...ahh. final tomorrow morning. I wish I could figure out a hypo

christmas mouse
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby christmas mouse » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:36 am

if you were attempting to do something you thought wasnt a crime, but in reality, you were doing something else that is a crime, would you be charged with attempt for the crime you were really doing? or does it not apply???

Ok ill try to make a few hypos, hopefully one answers your question:

D thinks he is having legal sex, but in reality his lover is underage. He thinks it isnt a crime, but it is so if his culp towards the circumstance of her age is sufficient for liability he will be liable for statutory rape and since the culp required is strict liability he is liable. This is a case of mistake of fact.

D thinks going around taking peoples mail from mailbox is just a fun prank, but in reality it is a crime. He is guilty of tampering with mail. This is mistake of law and it doesnt matter (unless some public authority told him he could do this, law wasn't possible to find out, etc.)

D thinks he is raping a dog, but turns out he is raping a human (i know this is stupid, but come up with something better) so he doesnt have culp towards rape, and no objective element towards dog so all he can be charged with is attempted animal cruelty so we can impute his objective element of raping a human down to raping a dog and actually charge him with cruelty to animals, not just attempted cruelty to animals.

D thinks he is raping a human, but turns out he is raping a dog so he doesnt have the culp for animal cruelty, and doesnt have objective element for rape, so he is liable for attempted rape and i guess if we were so inclined to we could impute his culp from raping human to raping dog and also charge him with animal cruelty.

If this doesnt answer the question then i'm lost because i cant think of any other sorts of these types of situations.

I do have a question about this also though: I know that the MPC allows this through their transferred mistake doctrine (?), but do any jurisdictions actually have a statute for this rule/allow it?

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Borhas
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby Borhas » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:33 am

christmas mouse wrote:D thinks he is having legal sex, but in reality his lover is underage. He thinks it isnt a crime, but it is so if his culp towards the circumstance of her age is sufficient for liability he will be liable for statutory rape and since the culp required is strict liability he is liable. This is a case of mistake of fact.


it's only a mistake in fact if he thinks the age is different than D, or if he mistakenly thinks they are married, if he just doesn't know it's criminal then that's a mistake of law

DNA1984
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby DNA1984 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:36 am

goosey wrote:how do you reconcile the mpc's legal wrong doctrine with the mpc's attempt rule? can they go together?

so if you were attempting to do something you thought wasnt a crime, but in reality, you were doing something that else thats a crime, would you be charged with attempt for the crime you were really doing? or does it not apply???

final tomorrow...I thought I understood crim. until today.


Did you figure this out yet? message me if you still need help.

toolfan
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby toolfan » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:38 am

.
Last edited by toolfan on Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

christmas mouse
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby christmas mouse » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:55 am

Borhas wrote:
christmas mouse wrote:D thinks he is having legal sex, but in reality his lover is underage. He thinks it isnt a crime, but it is so if his culp towards the circumstance of her age is sufficient for liability he will be liable for statutory rape and since the culp required is strict liability he is liable. This is a case of mistake of fact.


it's only a mistake in fact if he thinks the age is different than D, or if he mistakenly thinks they are married, if he just doesn't know it's criminal then that's a mistake of law


good call. what i meant to say was D thinks he isn't committing a crime.

savagecheater
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby savagecheater » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:58 pm

ogurty wrote: Usually it's something like assault on a police officer - at common law, you'd be guilty even if you had no idea it was a police officer, whereas under the MPC you'd be guilty only of assault. So apply that to an ATTEMPTED assault on a police officer and you have the same result - guilty of attempted assault. (Provided the mistake negatives whatever mens rea the completed crime is interpreted to need as to the circumstance element - probably recklessness in an MPC state).


You sure about this?

You only need purpose as to the conduct (assault) and the belief that the belief of the result (battery) - the AC just need the MR for the sub. offense; which here is prob reckless: you'd be disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the person you're assaulting could be a person of some official stature, therefore, attempt on a federal officer at the degree of the felony for assault in general. There's a CALI lesson specifically disagreeing with you.


I thought that CL was stricter about getting to attempt - needs purpose all the way through, but balances that w/ no abandonment, as MPC hits attempt with greater ease, but balances it w/ abandonment.

ogurty
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Re: Crim Law---any takers?

Postby ogurty » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:44 am

savagecheater wrote:
ogurty wrote: Usually it's something like assault on a police officer - at common law, you'd be guilty even if you had no idea it was a police officer, whereas under the MPC you'd be guilty only of assault. So apply that to an ATTEMPTED assault on a police officer and you have the same result - guilty of attempted assault. (Provided the mistake negatives whatever mens rea the completed crime is interpreted to need as to the circumstance element - probably recklessness in an MPC state).


You sure about this?

You only need purpose as to the conduct (assault) and the belief that the belief of the result (battery) - the AC just need the MR for the sub. offense; which here is prob reckless: you'd be disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the person you're assaulting could be a person of some official stature, therefore, attempt on a federal officer at the degree of the felony for assault in general. There's a CALI lesson specifically disagreeing with you.


I thought that CL was stricter about getting to attempt - needs purpose all the way through, but balances that w/ no abandonment, as MPC hits attempt with greater ease, but balances it w/ abandonment.


To be honest I don't know exactly what you're saying. All I was saying was, under common law lesser crime theory, the criminal with mens rea runs the risk of his acts constituting a greater crime than he thought. The MPC goes the opposite way and punishes for the lesser crime. If, in my hypo, the person WAS disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk, then the mistake doesn't negate the mens rea, so it doesn't apply.

The analysis is the same under the MPC for an attempt: the mistake negates the mens rea, so only guilty of the lesser offense. IF, as I think you were saying, the mistake doesn't negate the mens rea, then guilty of the greater offense.

As to attempt, at traditional common law attempt may have been required all the way through (I'm really not sure) but in most states intent is not required as to attendant circumstances, only general mens rea. At least, that's what I was taught, and given where most of the things in my notes came from, Dressler probably taught it to me.

So I'm not sure what part I'm wrong on. Is it about the mens rea as to attendant circumstances? Because the hypo said the assaulter had no idea it was a cop; so I think it's stretching to conclude that he was reckless as to the possibility that it might be. But again, if he was, then guilty of the greater crime.




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