■ A wrong committed against society, as defined in a statute and made punishable by the govt. in a judicial proceeding brought by it.
■ Punishment could be fines, imprisonment, probation and death
Classification of crimes
Depending on their degree of seriousness, crimes are classified.
• Are inherently evil and most serious
• Includes murder, rape, or robbery and certain business crimes
• Carries the most severe sanction, ranging from one or more year(s) in prison to forfeiture of one’s life.
• A lesser crime – such as disorderly conduct, trespass, or petty theft – punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to one year.
• Includes most crimes against property (burglary, robbery)
• Neither felony nor misdemeanor and usually punishable with a fine
• Least serious criminal offenses, such as traffic violations
These 2 elements must be proven for a person to be criminally liable
1. Actus Reus: Criminal act that the defendant must have actually performed
2. Mens Rea: Must have the intent or state of mind to commit the crime
■ Specific intent: purposefully commits act
■ General intent: recklessness
Burden of Proof
Because criminal liability carries harsher penalties than civil liability, and because the State has many more resources at its disposal in prosecuting a crime than the typical criminal defendant has at her disposal, the State must prove the alleged criminal’s guilt of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Corporate Criminal Liability
Corporations can be held liable for actions of their officers, employees or agents
□ A corporation may be criminally liable if:
1. an agent or employee of the corporation (a) commits a criminal act within the scope of her employment and (b) the criminal act...