Monday, March 31, 2014

Specific Intent Crimes

One of the first distinctions to focus on when studying Criminal Law for purposes of the MBE is the distinction between specific intent crimes and general intent crimes. There are two primary reasons for ensuring you understand this distinction; the first is that the mere existence of a specific intent crime cannot be conclusively imputed simply by learning that a person has done an act. In other words, there is a common element that must be proven when analyzing all specific intent crimes, and that element is the existence of the specific intent. As an example, a classic specific intent crime is first-degree premeditated murder. It's not enough for the prosecution to prove that x performed the act of shooting y; the prosecution will have to prove as well that x shot y with the intent to kill him.

In addition to the above, another reason for identifying specific intent crimes is because some defenses (the often tested question in this context deals with voluntary intoxication), apply only to specific intent crimes.

There is a lot to memorize when preparing for the MBE. Here is yet another list you should know. The following lists the specific intent crimes for purposes of the MBE:

First Degree Premeditated Murder
Assault (intent to commit a battery)
False Pretenses

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