Criminology Basics & Elements of Crime Flashcards

Criminology Basics & Elements of Crime Flashcards
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Elements of a Crime: Mens Rea

The state of mind of an individual during the time when they commit a crime. You look at this in the legal process to determine the intent of the defendant when he or she carried out a crime.

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Four Elements of a Crime:

Mental state

Conduct

Concurrence

Causation

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Inchoate Offense

Any crime that goes unfinished. Someone that attempts to steal a car only to be interrupted by the car's owners would be guilty of this type of offense.

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Espionage

This crime occurs when someone collects and shares information about the national defense of the United States to people who would use it against the country.

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Offenses

Minor crimes that are not considered as serious as misdemeanors. They are also called infractions or violations. Jaywalking, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and littering are examples.

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Treason

This crime takes place when an individual works to aid an outside government in overthrowing or otherwise injuring the United States.

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Felony Crimes

These crimes are considered series and can even be punished by the death penalty. Burglary, arson, aggravated assault and kidnapping are all examples.

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Misdemeanor Crimes

Crimes that are not as serious as felonies. Convicted individuals usually serve a year or less of prison time. Examples can include petty larceny, simple battery and writing bad checks.

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Mens Rea: Negligent

An individual with this type of mens rea did not realize that a risk for harm existed or did not appreciate how severe the risk was.

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Mens Rea: Reckless

We see this type of mens rea in individuals who know that a certain behavior is risky and perform it anyway. While they do not intend to harm others, they know the possibility exists.

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Mens Rea: Knowing

Individuals with this kind of mens rea know that a crime will result from the action they take, and they do it anyway.

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Mens Rea: Intentional

This kind of mens rea is associated with individuals who act purposefully to fulfill a criminal goal.

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Legal Characteristics for a Crime

These determine whether or not a crime took place. This determination is based on proof that an actual crime was performed and that it was purposeful and intentional.

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26 cards in set

Flashcard Content Overview

The flashcards contained in this set can help you go over the legal characteristics of a crime, including:

  • Mens rea
  • Actus reus
  • Causation
  • Concurrence

You'll also be able to focus on different categories of crime, such as misdemeanors, felonies and offenses. The psychology, political, legal and sociological perspectives of criminology are also addressed by this set of flashcards. Additionally, you'll find cards that review neoclassical and classical criminology.

Front
Back
Legal Characteristics for a Crime

These determine whether or not a crime took place. This determination is based on proof that an actual crime was performed and that it was purposeful and intentional.

Mens Rea: Intentional

This kind of mens rea is associated with individuals who act purposefully to fulfill a criminal goal.

Mens Rea: Knowing

Individuals with this kind of mens rea know that a crime will result from the action they take, and they do it anyway.

Mens Rea: Reckless

We see this type of mens rea in individuals who know that a certain behavior is risky and perform it anyway. While they do not intend to harm others, they know the possibility exists.

Mens Rea: Negligent

An individual with this type of mens rea did not realize that a risk for harm existed or did not appreciate how severe the risk was.

Misdemeanor Crimes

Crimes that are not as serious as felonies. Convicted individuals usually serve a year or less of prison time. Examples can include petty larceny, simple battery and writing bad checks.

Felony Crimes

These crimes are considered series and can even be punished by the death penalty. Burglary, arson, aggravated assault and kidnapping are all examples.

Treason

This crime takes place when an individual works to aid an outside government in overthrowing or otherwise injuring the United States.

Offenses

Minor crimes that are not considered as serious as misdemeanors. They are also called infractions or violations. Jaywalking, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and littering are examples.

Espionage

This crime occurs when someone collects and shares information about the national defense of the United States to people who would use it against the country.

Inchoate Offense

Any crime that goes unfinished. Someone that attempts to steal a car only to be interrupted by the car's owners would be guilty of this type of offense.

Four Elements of a Crime:

Mental state

Conduct

Concurrence

Causation

Elements of a Crime: Mens Rea

The state of mind of an individual during the time when they commit a crime. You look at this in the legal process to determine the intent of the defendant when he or she carried out a crime.

Elements of a Crime: Actus Reus

The action or act that causes harm in a crime. This is also known as guilty conduct or a guilty act. An affirmative act or omission satisfies this.

Elements of a Crime: Theory of Concurrence

This theory states that the elements of a crime can only be satisfied if the criminal act and the guilty mental state occur simultaneously.

Criminal Liability

Proof that an individual did break a law.

Elements of a Crime: Causation

This is the connection between a criminal act and the occurrence of some kind of harm.

Perspectives of Criminology: Sociological

Individuals who look at criminology with this perspective are concerned with the economic, social and political issues that lead to crime.

Perspectives of Criminology: Psychological

This perspective of criminology asserts that crime is a problematic behavior associated with the fact that offenders can't harmoniously live in their environment.

Perspectives of Criminology: Political

This criminology perspective says crimes occur when laws that dictate illegal actions are broken. These laws are designed to help individuals with political power.

Perspectives of Criminology: Legal

You use this perspective on criminology when you look at how criminal behavior violates and influences laws.

Criminology: Crime in the 1940s

Criminologists have determined that crime dropped off during this time period because a lot of men were off fighting WWII.

Neoclassical Criminology

This criminology school sees crime as situationally dynamic. It is connected with crime control policies that are conservative in their politics.

Cohen and Felson: Routine Activities Theory

This theory asserts that crime takes place when a motivated offended meets a target who is suitable and no one capable is around to offer the target protection.

Classical Criminology: Key Principles

People look for pleasure while avoiding pain

People have free will and commit crimes by choice

All individuals have rights that need respected

Punishment deters crime

Due process must be followed

Classical Criminology

This view of criminology focuses on the how people choose to carry out crimes and the ways punishment can stop further crimes. It says people avoid pain, so punishment can lower the crime rate.

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