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Elements of Crime

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Throughout this paper we are going to cover several key elements of crime. We are going to look how the elements of a crime apply to the overall criminal procedure process and how we can improve the understanding of criminal elements. Then we are going to cover what are the various legal defenses which are used and how does each of these defenses apply when in court and the overall criminal procedure. Last yet importantly we are going to cover the definition of crime, how would you describe the overall criminal process after a crime has been committed and what would happen if one of these steps of the process were removed.

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So let us get started we have a lot to cover. What are the Elements of Crime The elements of a crime are the pieces that are needed to prove or demonstrate whether someone is guilty of a crime. There must be enough evidence that is given by the prosecution to prove that all of the elements of a crime are consistent with the case that they are responsible for and that the opposite side or the defense can question or challenge the present case on one ore many of the elements.

There are basically four things that must be present with the case and they include: the intent, conduct, concurrence and causation.

Once one of these things is missing in the chain a case can break and fall completely apart. How do the elements of a crime apply to the overall criminal procedure process The elements of a crime apply to the overall criminal process simply by their definition. Using the four basic components of intent, conduct, concurrence and causation can give a process that is important behind the entire criminal procedure process. Intent is used to prove that someone wanted or intended to commit a crime and they were mentally capable of doing it. This is important in all phases of the process.

Next is the conduct which means to say whether or not someone who has intent actually conducted a crime. This is where the concurrence comes in trying to prove whether or not there is a connection between the intent and the conduct. The causation is the big bang proving that the intent and the conduct led to the committing of the crime. All of these elements are important and are steppingstones to help protect the citizens who may or may not be innocent. There are also the elements of harm, legality and the punishment that could be included for the technicality purposes of a crime being committed.

Recommendations A recommendation that I would make to better define/improve understanding of elements of crime is to basically see a case broken down into each category or element and to see examples of each and how the element actually has to be. This could give great eyesight of each element and relate it to everyday cases and crimes that occur. Various Legal Defenses When a person is charged with a crime, that person has the right to defend himself and avail himself with the best legal representation available.

Criminal defense lawyers represent ordinary people charged with violating the law. There are some of the common criminal defenses often used by criminal defense lawyers. The Insanity Defense involves the perpetrator of a crime as being mentally deficient when he or she committed the crime. The basis of an insanity defense is that the individual was not of sane mind when committing the alleged crime and unable to comprehend the consequences of his or her actions; therefore, he/she should not be held criminally liable for the crimes committed during this time.

Defendants who attempt the insanity defense must often undergo a series of mental examinations and evaluations before a judge will allow this type of defense to be practiced. Another type of criminal defense is the Intoxication Defense. When a person violates the law while in an altered state of consciousness, he or she may attempt this defense. The intoxication defense argues that since the individual was intoxicated on a toxic substance, he or she should not be fully responsible for the actions committed while under the spell of the ubstance. This particular defense may negate intent in several states and diminish responsibility for the violation. Self-Defense is one of the most popular types of defense strategies used in murder and assault cases. This particular criminal defense involves the act of protecting one’s self or family from harm. Self-defense is only a valid defense when the consequence of the alleged violation is proportionate to the defensive force or act. Self-defense actions are usually not deemed criminal acts at all.

How the Defenses Apply in Court Criminal procedure deals with the set of rules governing the series of proceedings through which the government enforces substantive criminal law. Municipalities, states, and the federal government each have their own criminal codes, defining types of conduct that may constitute crimes. Due Process commands that defendants have the right to call their own witnesses, mount their own evidence, and present their own theory of the facts.

In order to properly mount a defense, the prosecution must turn over all evidence that will be presented against the defendant and have pre-trial access to depose all of the prosecution’s witnesses. Recommendations I think that we can improve the criminal defenses by advancing the testing that is required to ensure that the person being accused is not faking when it comes to the insanity plea to ensure that the victim get served justice. I believe that the intoxication defense should not really be a defense unless it involves the person completely not knowing that they had consumed a substance that could impair their judgment and thinking.

I think that if we allow the courts the ability to timely test all the defenses prior to the trial then it would create less time for the hearing to be done. Definition of Crime According to Webster’s Dictionary Crime is defined as “an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law” (Webster’s, 2011). A crime takes place when an individual or multiple individuals perform an action which is against the law.

Not all violation of laws is considered a crime though, in some states there violations that are considered infractions or offences. This type of violation does not result in jail or prison time as a crime would. Overall Criminal Process The process after a crime has been committed can be very long. Once it is determined that a crime has been committed then law enforcement officers are called upon, usually the local police or the county sheriff. Once the police are at the scene of the crime they collect statements from witnesses, collect evidence, and make arrests if necessary.

After the initial investigation by the police officer the case is then usually transferred to an investigations unit within the department to do follow up work to make final preparations. Once all of the arrests have been made and all of the evidence has been collected the case is sent over to the prosecuting attorney, at this time it is determined if the individual who committed the crime should be charged and tried in court. At this time the individual who committed the crime will be held in jail or out on bail until the trial happens. The trial of the case will determine if the individual is guilty or innocent.

If the defendant is found guilty they will have to come back to court to be sentenced. What if One of the Processes was Removed If one or more of the steps of the criminal process was removed then many of the individuals and criminals would not be held accountable for their actions. If there is a mistake where a piece of evidence is obtained illegally or if a search is done without a warrant then the criminal involved can be set free. The evidence that is obtained without a warrant or probable cause can be thrown out in court and the prosecuting attorney will not be able to use the evidence.

Not only does the fourth amendment protect the individuals against unlawful and illegal search and seizures but it protects the prosecutors so that they can obtain evidence legally to bring a criminal to justice. Throughout this paper we look at several elements and areas of crime. Before someone can be convicted of crime, the officers or DA has to have substantive evidence to prove that the defendant is indeed guilty of the crime. They are not guilty just because the officer said they are. This is where due process comes in. People are innocent until proven guilty.

The law has to follow steps to insure that they do not violate anyone’s rights. The process is there to ensure that criminals are held responsible for their crimes and actions. These elements and processes are there to protect the people as well as the officers and other law enforcement agencies.


Crime. 2011. In Merriam-Webster. com. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/crime Meyer, J. and Grant, D. (2003). The Courts in our Criminal Justice System. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cite this Elements of Crime

Elements of Crime. (2017, Jan 24). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/elements-of-crime/

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