Elements of a Crime

In: Social Issues

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Elements of a Crime
Jennifer Green
Kaplan University

Elements of a Crime
Every society has to deal with acts that are considered social wrong from its citizens. Almost all crimes consist of two elements, mental and physical. Mens Rea is the mental aspect of a crime. In order to achieve a crime, the Mens Rea requirement under the model penal code, a purposeful act, a knowing act, a reckless act, and a negligent act must be present. Each act is part of the state of mind of the person committing the acts. A purposeful act is an intentional act from the person committing the crime. For example, if a gunmen walks into a busy toy store during the holiday season while shoppers are shopping and shots a loaded gun, this could be considered a purposeful act. A knowing act occurs when someone performs an act with knowledge. Referring back to my earlier example, if the gunmen went into the toy store and shot someone, the knowing act could be considered that he or she knew that someone would be shot. A reckless act occurs when a person carelessly acts. If a driver decides to send a text message while driving down a major highway at excessive speeds, this could be considered a careless act. A negligent act occurs when a person acts with a substantial risk. If the driver was driving on a deserted road with no other drivers in sight and suddenly hits someone on the side of the road, this could be considered a negligent act. All four acts must be present in Mens Rea. The second element of a crime is Actus Reus. This included the physical aspect of the crime committed. Under the model penal code in order to achieve actus reus, the act must be voluntary. The model penal code clearly defines four requirements of a voluntary act. A physical act has to be proven in a crime, however a mental act does not have to be proven.
Under the criminal statue states sometimes both the…...

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