Crim Law question re: Accomplice Liability

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futurelawyer413
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Crim Law question re: Accomplice Liability

Postby futurelawyer413 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:19 am

Suppose B agrees to help A to drive him to a store, where A is planning to rob it but B does not know of A's plan at all. A robs the store while B is waiting for A, A comes back with the cash and returns to the car and they both drive away before the police catch them 20 mins later. Assume MPC, not common law jurisdiction.


Question re: B

1) B guilty of being an accomplice to either burglary/larceny? My thought is no but I'm not sure if my reasoning is right?

No b/c B did not have same mens rea, but is B 1) required to have mens rea for the crime (burglary/larceny) OR 2) the mens rea that A has (purposely/knowingly) or 3)both?

*What about the fact that B drove A after A got the cash - does this mean B may be an accomplice to aidding/abetting A help get away?


2) B guilty of attempted burglary? (burglary, larceny)


In order to be guilty of any attempted crime (under MPC), you need 1) Purpose, AND 2) substantial step conduct. Here, B doesn't know/doesn't have knowledge of A's plan, therefore B has no (1) - Purpose, so B can't be charged with either burglary or larceny + the fact he lacks the "specific intent" element required for each.

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futurelawyer413
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Re: Crim Law question re: Accomplice Liability

Postby futurelawyer413 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:32 am

BUMP! plz any thoughts?? i have it tomorrow lol!

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Crim Law question re: Accomplice Liability

Postby Stanford4Me » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:33 am

This isn't going to be long, and this is all based on what my Crim professor told our class, but after discussing different Hypos for about 20 minutes where one party knew, or should have reasonably known, that their actions were assisting with the commission of a crime, but they didn't not intend for their actions to further the crime, my professor told us that in order ot be held liable under the common law, a party must INTEND for their actions to further the commission of the specific crime being charged.

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uwb09
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Re: Crim Law question re: Accomplice Liability

Postby uwb09 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:35 am

futurelawyer413 wrote:Suppose B agrees to help A to drive him to a store, where A is planning to rob it but B does not know of A's plan at all. A robs the store while B is waiting for A, A comes back with the cash and returns to the car and they both drive away before the police catch them 20 mins later. Assume MPC, not common law jurisdiction.


Question re: B

1) B guilty of being an accomplice to either burglary/larceny? My thought is no but I'm not sure if my reasoning is right?

No b/c B did not have same mens rea, but is B 1) required to have mens rea for the crime (burglary/larceny) OR 2) the mens rea that A has (purposely/knowingly) or 3)both?

*What about the fact that B drove A after A got the cash - does this mean B may be an accomplice to aidding/abetting A help get away?


2) B guilty of attempted burglary? (burglary, larceny)


In order to be guilty of any attempted crime (under MPC), you need 1) Purpose, AND 2) substantial step conduct. Here, B doesn't know/doesn't have knowledge of A's plan, therefore B has no (1) - Purpose, so B can't be charged with either burglary or larceny + the fact he lacks the "specific intent" element required for each.

in your hypo, doesn't seem like he even knows of A's criminal activities, so he can't possibly intend to help something that he doesn't even know exists

if B knew that A had just robbed the bank, and he drove him off away from the scene, then you might be able to find implied accomplice liability (his actions spoke louder than words)

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daesonesb
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Re: Crim Law question re: Accomplice Liability

Postby daesonesb » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:57 am

If this is MPC, then to be an accomplice you need to intend to aid or encourage the conduct of the crime, have the same mens rea as the target crime for the results, and have an undetermined mens rea for circumstances. MPC lets states determine on their own what the mens rea for circumstances of crimes should be (depending on what policy dictates).

It doesn't sound here like the accomplice intended to aid the principal actor in the conduct constituting a burglary or larceny. To do that, they would need to actually know that the principal was stealing something, taking an object away, or at least breaking into the building.

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daesonesb
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Re: Crim Law question re: Accomplice Liability

Postby daesonesb » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:03 am

Then again, in your hypo it sounds like the accomplice might actually intend to aid the principal when he leaves the store (when the principal gets back in the car, wouldn't the accomplice be able to figure out he was driving someone away from commission of a robbery?) If so, they would be an accomplice because the crime is still in progress even after they leave (until they reach a place of safety)




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