New York Criminal Law

NY Criminal Law

  1. Overview/General Principles
    1. Criminal law tries to identify 3 questions
      1. What actions will society/we prohibit?
      2. What actions will society/we condemn?
  • What actions will society/we punish with a penal sanction?
  1. Sources of criminal law
    1. Common Law
      1. Largely replaced by statutes
    2. Model Penal Code (MPC)
      1. Similar to the UCC in that it’s just a guideline until it is explicitly adopted
      2. Creates a general idea for criminal statutes
        1. In some cases NY follows the MPC but in others, NY Penal Law differs
  • New York Law
    1. Penal Code
      1. Purpose (§ 1.05)
        1. To proscribe conduct which unjustifiably and inexcusably causes or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interests”
        2. To give fair warning of the nature of the conduct proscribed and of the sentences authorized upon conviction”
  • To define the act or omission and the accompanying mental state which constitute each offense”
  1. To differentiate on reasonable ground between serious and minor offenses and to prescribe proportionate penalties therefore”
  2. To provide for an appropriate public response to particular offenses, including consideration of the consequences of the offense for the victim, including the victim’s family, and the community”
  3. To insure the public safety by preventing the commission of offenses through the deterrent influence of the sentences authorized, the rehabilitation of those convicted, the promotion of their successful and productive reentry and reintegration into society, and their confinement when required in the interests of public protection [specific/general deterrence]”
    1. Basically all the traditional theories of punishment are found in § 1.05
    2. NY also provides for Victim’s Rights in the punishment
  4. Vehicle and Traffic Law
  5. Others
    1. Environmental
    2. Agricultural, etc.
  6. Punishment
    1. Theories of Punishment (Retribution, General Deterrence, Specific Deterrence, Incapacitation, Rehabilitation, Victim’s Rights)
      1. Retribution
        1. ∆ has committed a wrongful act against the social fabric that requires our condemnation
          1. The person who committed the wrong must right it by doing time or performing a service
          2. Original theory of punishment
          3. Based on ideas like biblical forms of punishment
        2. General Deterrence
          1. By punishing ∆, we will send a message to others not to commit similar acts
            1. Has its roots in Utilitarianism
  • Specific Deterrence
    1. Punishing ∆ will communicate to him that he committed a wrongful act
      1. Seen in early prison theory
    2. Incapacitation
      1. ∆ is dangerous and must be kept away from society in order to prevent further crimes
        1. Made a reappearance in the 90s with “broken windows” theory
      2. Rehabilitation
        1. ∆ requires help and treatment
          1. Theory that became popular in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s (basically the liberal view)
        2. Sentencing (People v. Du)
          1. 2 factors are looked at when considering sentences
            1. Nature of the crime
            2. Nature of the offender
          2. You don’t punish people for accidents in criminal law
            1. Generally there needs to be a mens rea and a guilty act
  • Analysis
    1. Prima Facie Case?
      1. Elements?
      2. ∆’s behavior met all elements beyond a reasonable doubt (BARD)?
  • Lack of justification defense?
  1. Lack of excuse defense?
    1. If yes to all, ∆ is guilty
  2. Requirements of All Crimes (Corpus Delicti)
    1. Legality
      1. Legislatively created by statute, not courts
        1. Only the legislature can proscribe criminal conduct
      2. Specificity: not vague
        1. Statute cannot be too vague
  • Lenity: multiple interpretations favor ∆
    1. If there’s a tie (2 reasonable interpretations of the law), it always goes to ∆
    2. EXCEPT: Penal Law § 5.00 says rule of lenity does not apply to the Penal Code (you don’t have to go with the one that favors the ∆)
      1. Penal law not strictly construed: The general rule that a penal statute is to be strictly construed does not apply to this chapter, but the provisions herein must be construed according to the fair import of their terms to promote justice and effect the objects of law.
    3. Prospectivity: not retroactive
    4. Publicity: statute is published and available
  1. Jurisdiction
    1. Conduct or consequences occur in NY
    2. Criminal law is based on geography
      1. Can be prosecuted in the state where the action took place or where the consequences occurred
    3. Causation (Result)
      1. Only applies to result offenses
      2. Direct Cause
        1. But-for causation
  • AND Proximate Cause
    1. Reasonably Foreseeable Test
      1. “To be a sufficiently direct cause of death so as to warrant the imposition of a criminal penalty therefore, it is not necessary that the ultimate harm be intended by the actor. It will suffice if it can be said beyond a reasonable doubt, [. . .], that the ultimate harm is something which should been foreseen as being reasonably related to the acts of the accused.” People v. Kibbe
      2. Exceptions
        1. Eggshell Doctrine
          1. You take your victim as you find them so it is reasonably foreseeable that a victim can have a medical condition
        2. Intent not required
        3. Sufficient that the ultimate harm was reasonably foreseeable
      3. You can have multiple causes of death
      4. You can have an unforeseeable act that is an intervening cause and breaks the chain making the doer of the intervening cause the proximate cause
      5. Ordinary malpractice is reasonably foreseeable and does not constitute an intervening cause that would break the chain and undo causation (People v. Stewart)
    2. Concurrence
      1. Elements of the crime occur at the same time
        1. Only applicable in certain crimes like burglary and larceny
      2. Actus Reus (Conduct)
        1. Generally
          1. 15.10 Requirements for criminal liability in general and for offenses of strict liability and mental culpability: The minimal requirement for criminal liability is the performance by a person of conduct which includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act which he is physically capable of performing…
          2. Requires performance of conduct (2 parts)
            1. A voluntary (voluntariness)
              1. Every crime must have an action
                1. Merely thinking about committing a crime is not a crime
              2. For an action to be voluntary, ∆ must have done the action—if someone else moves the ∆, there is no voluntariness (People v. Shaughnessy)
            2. Act (actness)
              1. Bodily Movement
                1. You can’t punish someone for a status (high, drunk, etc.), there needs to be some kind of action (People v. Davis)
                2. Bodily movement is an easy threshold to meet, you just can’t punish someone because of their status
              2. Omission
                1. Legal Duty
                  1. General rule: There is no duty to act (a failure to perform an act is not a violation unless there is a legal duty)
                  2. Exceptions
                    1. Status: Parent à Child (but not vice versa—see People v. Sanford) & Spouse à Spouse
                    2. Statute
  • Contract (either implicit or explicit)
  1. Voluntary assumption of care
  2. Creation of peril: Whenever you put someone in peril, you have a duty to aid the person (see People v. Sanford where the trial court and App. Div. differ but the App. Div. holding is the one above)
  1. Knowledge of Facts
  2. Ability to Help (very low bar to clear)
    1. Need all 3 (duty, knowledge, and ability) to be guilty by omission
  • Possession
    1. Possess means to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property. (§ 10.00 (8))
      1. Need to have knowledge of the possession
      2. Needs to be possession for a period long enough to terminate it
        1. Reasonable period of time
      3. 2 Types of Possession
        1. Actual
          1. Possession on the body for a period of time long enough that the possession could have been terminated
        2. Constructive
          1. Exercising dominion or control over tangible property
          2. Ordering someone to pick up guns or drugs or stolen property makes the person who ordered that person to pick up the drugs, guns, or stolen property guilty of possession because it’s constructive (People v. Rivera)
        3. Possession in vehicles
          1. You can charge the driver of a vehicle in which the drugs, guns, or stolen property are found with possession (constructive)
          2. Passengers can also be charged with possession (constructive)
          3. Presumptions
            1. § 220.25 Criminal Possession of a controlled substance; presumption: (1) The presence of a controlled substance in an automobile, other than a public omnibus, is presumptive evidence of knowing possession thereof by each and every person in the automobile at the time such controlled substance was found; except that such presumption does not apply (a) to a duly licensed operator of an automobile who is at the time operating it for hire in the lawful and proper pursuit of his trade, or (b) to any person in the automobile if one of them, having obtained the controlled substance and not being under duress, is authorized to possess it and such controlled substance is in the same container as when he received possession thereof, or (c) when the controlled substance is concealed upon the person of one of the occupants (see § 265.15 Presumptions of possession, unlawful intent and defacement for the gun possession presumptions—similar to drug presumptions)
            2. Burden is still on the People to prove BARD
  • Not a deprivation of due process because the jury may convict based on the presumption, it doesn’t have to
  1. Imputing the Conduct of Another (Accomplice Liability)
    1. 20.00 Criminal liability for the conduct of another: When one person engages in conduct which constitutes an offense, another person is criminally liable for such conduct when, acting with the mental culpability required for the commission thereof, he solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or intentionally aids such person to engage in such conduct. (see § 20.20 Criminal liability of corporations)
    2. Not a separate crime, just a theory of imputing liability to another
    3. Requirements
      1. ∆ (the accomplice) has the mental culpability required by the crime
        1. Look to the mens rea of the charged crime, it’s the same one
        2. People only have to prove the mens rea of the charged crime, not the specific intent (People v. Kaplan)
          1. Shared intent standard was created because you don’t want to punish someone for just being present at the scene of the crime but it only existed at common law and was gotten rid of with the adoption of § 20.00
        3. Solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or intentionally aids the Principal
          1. You can intentionally aid a negligence crime (People v. Abbott)
          2. You don’t have to prove who the principal is, you can proceed under an accomplice liability theory as long as you can show the required mens rea of the crime and that they aided each other (People v. Russell-gun battle case)
            1. Gun battle cases stand for the idea that participants intentionally aid each other by agreeing to enter into a gun battle and you can convict them all if you can prove the recklessness aspect
              1. No self-defense defense in gun battle cases because they chose to enter into the gun battle and fired back
            2. Not “necessarily incidental” (exemption to accomplice liability)
              1. § 20.10 Criminal liability for conduct of another; exemption: [. . .], a person is not criminally liable for conduct of another person constituting an offense when his own conduct, though causing or aiding the commission of such offense, is of a kind that is necessarily incidental thereto. If such conduct constitutes a related but separate offense upon the part of the actor, he is liable for that offense only and not for the conduct or offense committed by the other person.
              2. Limited to things like sale of a controlled substance
                1. The buyer can’t be charged with sale even though without their action, there could not have been a sale
              3. Policy behind accomplice liability is deterrence
              4. Defenses to accomplice liability
                1. Renunciation defense (§ 40.10 (1))
                  1. See below
                  2. Affirmative defense
                    1. In any prosecution for an offense, other than an attempt to commit a crime, in which the defendant’s guilt depends upon his criminal liability for the conduct of another person [. . .], it is an affirmative defense that, under circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his criminal purpose, the defendant withdrew from participation in such offense prior to the commission thereof and made a substantial effort to prevent the commission thereof. (§ 40.10 (1))
                    2. Must be voluntary and complete
                      1. Not due to:
                        1. Increased risk of detection
                        2. Increased difficulty
  • Postponement
  1. Change in victim or objective
  1. And there must have been a substantial effort to prevent the crime
  1. Not a defense to accomplice liability (§ 20.05)
    1. Not a defense that if the Principal isn’t guilty (by reason of incapacity, etc.), then the Accomplice can’t be guilty (§ 20.05 (1))
    2. Not a defense that (1) the Principal hasn’t been tried yet or (2) has not been convicted or has been acquitted (§ 20.05 (2))
    3. Not a defense that the Principal belongs to a particular class (which is the only class that can commit a certain crime) and the Accomplice doesn’t
  2. When analyzing accomplice liability, also check for conspiracy, solicitation, and facilitation (see below)
  1. Mens Rea (Mode of Culpability)
    1. § 15.10 Requirements for criminal liability in general and for offenses of strict liability and mental culpability: (cont.)…If such conduct [actus reus] is all that is required for commission of a particular offense, or if an offense or some material element thereof does not require a culpable mental state on the part of the actor, such offense is one of “strict liability.” If a culpable mental state on the part of the actor is required with respect to every material element of an offense, such offense is one of “mental culpability.”
    2. Common Law Mens Rea
      1. 4 Different Types
        1. Specific Intent
          1. Desire to do the act and desire to achieve a particular result
            1. Mainly crimes against property, Assault, and Murder 1º
          2. General Intent
            1. Need only be generally aware
            2. Can be inferred from doing the action
              1. Most crimes against persons (violent crimes)
              2. You can usually infer the mental state from the action
            3. Malice
              1. Acts intentionally or with reckless disregard of obvious/known risk
                1. Murder 2º and Rape
              2. Strict Liability
                1. Crime requires only an act; no mental state required
                  1. Public welfare crimes (things like selling contaminated food or selling alcohol to a minor) and statutory rape
  • Penal Law Mens Rea
    1. 4 Different Types (see § 15.05)
      1. Intentionally
        1. Almost identical to common law intent
        2. Result? (Causation)
          1. Conscious objective is to cause the result
  • Conduct? (Actus Reus)
    1. Conscious objective to engage in the conduct
  1. Transferred intent may apply
    1. Depends on statute
      1. Found in a statute when it says, “to such person or to a third person”
    2. Like in tort law, intent follows the injury
    3. Assault 2º (§ 120.05 (10) (a)) does not have a transferred intent meaning
  2. “Intent does not require premeditation. [. . .], intent does not require advance planning.  Nor is it necessary that the intent be in a person’s mind for any particular period of time.  The intent can be formed, and need only exist, at the very moment the person engages in prohibited conduct or acts to cause the prohibited result, and not at any earlier time. [. . .] You may consider the person’s conduct and all of the circumstances surrounding that conduct, including but not limited to, the following: what, if anything, did the person say or do; what result, if any, followed the person’s conduct; and was that result the natural, necessary and probably consequence of that conduct.”  New York Criminal Jury Instructions
  3. Differentiate from motive
    1. Motive is the reason why a person engages in criminal conduct
    2. Motive is not an element
      1. Not required to prove motive but its always helpful because it can go to what the conscious objective of the ∆ was
    3. Knowingly
      1. Conduct?
        1. Awareness of it
      2. Circumstance? (Nature of victim; i.e. public servant, police officer, woman, etc.)
        1. Awareness that it exists
      3. Recklessness
        1. Have to show awareness of the risk
        2. Result?
          1. Awareness + conscious disregard of substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur
  • Circumstance?
    1. Awareness + conscious disregard of substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist
  1. Must be a gross deviation from the standard of care
  2. Voluntary intoxication does not negate
  1. Criminal Negligence
    1. Result?
      1. Should have known of substantial and unjustifiable risk that result will occur
    2. Circumstance?
      1. Should have known that circumstance exists
  • Must be gross deviation from the standard of care
  1. Failed to perceive the risk but should have known about it

MENS REA SPECTRUM

Worst       Intentionally         Knowingly            Recklessness            Negligence            Bad

  1. Unless otherwise noted, the mens rea applies to every material element of the crime (People v. Ryan)
    1. People v. Ryan also states that the People don’t need to show that the ∆ knew the weight of the drugs (caused the legislature to add § 15.20 (4))
  2. Strict Liability crimes have no mental state requirement and only need an actus reus
  3. Court will read in a mens rea requirement where the statute requires a voluntary act (In the Matter of Ronnie L.)
  4. Ordinarily the scheme of mental states is seen as a hierarchy, with proof of one mental state also implying proof of the mental states below, if any
  5. Negligence v. Recklessness
    1. Where a jury can be given the option of convicting on a lesser charge (like Criminally Negligent Homicide as opposed to Manslaughter 2º) the test is:
      1. “Where a reasonable view of the evidence supports a finding that a defendant committed this lesser degree of [crime], but not greater, the lesser crime should be submitted to the jury. . . If there is no reasonable view of the evidence which would support such a finding, the court may not submit such lesser offense.” (People v. Strong)
      2. The question is basically whether the jury might be able to find negligence or recklessness based on a reasonable view of the evidence
    2. Mens Rea Defenses
      1. Mistake
        1. § 15.20 Effect of ignorance or mistake upon liability: 1. A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in such conduct under a mistaken belief of fact, unless: (a) such factual mistake negatives the culpable mental state requirement; or (b) the statute defining the offense or a statute related thereto expressly provides that such factual mistake constitutes a defense or exemption; or (c) such factual mistake is of a kind that supports a defense of justification
          1. Think of as the opposite of mens rea (negates the mens rea requirement; instead of knowingly committing a crime, ∆ didn’t have knowledge)
            1. Ex: Mistake would be to purchase something you didn’t know was stolen (§ 165.45 Criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree: A person is guilty of criminal possession of stolen property when he knowingly possesses stolen property…). Not guilty because mistake would undo the culpable mental state
          2. If the Legislature had meant to add a reasonableness requirement to a crime, they would put it in the statute so where there is no reasonableness requirement, the mens rea of the crime is subjective based on what the ∆ believed (People v. Gudz)
          3. Harmless Error Doctrine
            1. No trial is perfect but the only way there will be a reversal is if the error was significant
          4. § 15.20 Effect of ignorance or mistake upon liability (cont.): 2. A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in such conduct under a mistaken belief that it does not, as a mater of law, consitute an offense, unless such mistaken belief is founded upon an official statement of the law contained in
            1. (a) a statute [. . .]; or
            2. (b) an administrative order [. . .]; or
            3. (c) a judicial decision [. . .]; or
            4. (d) an interpretation of the statute or law relating to the offense, officially made or issued by a public servant, agency, or body legally charged or empowered with the responsibility or privilege of administering, enforcing or interpreting such statute or law
              1. A/K/A Executive Estoppel
                1. Must be officially made by a public servant who is charged with administration, enforcement, or interpretation of the statute
                2. Where the ∆ is ignorant and misled, there will be executive estoppel (see People v. Studifin)
  • Rationale for executive estoppel is that the government is misleading ∆ with one hand and prosecuting them with the other and we don’t want that
  1. Defenses
    1. 2 types of Defenses
      1. Affirmative
        1. When a defense, declared by statute to be an “affirmative defense” is raised at a trial, the defendant has the burden of establishing such defense by a preponderance of the evidence. (§ 25.00 Defenses; burden of proof)
      2. Ordinary
        1. When a “defense,” other than an “affirmative defense,” defined by statute is raised at a trial, the people have the burden of disproving such defense beyond a reasonable doubt. (§ 25.00)
      3. Justification Defenses (Art. 35)
        1. Justification is an ordinary defense (§ 35.00 Justification; a defense)
        2. Blanket defense in that it isn’t as hard to get as an excuse defense which is more personal and unique to the facts
  • 4 Types of Justification Defenses
    1. Self-Defense, Defense of Third Persons
      1. 35.10 Justification; use of physical force generally
        1. Times when physical force is allowed generally (not as self-defense or defense of third persons)
          1. A parent, guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a person under the age of twenty-one or an incompetent person, and a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a person under the age of twenty-one for a special purpose, may use physical force, but not deadly physical force, upon such person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of such person (§ 35.10 (1))
          2. Warden or other authorized jail official, to maintain discipline and order (§ 35.10 (2))
          3. A person responsible for the maintenance of order in a common carrier of passengers, or person acting under his direction
            1. May use deadly physical force when he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent death or serious physical injury (§ 35.10 (3))
          4. Others like person about to commit suicide and physicians (§ 35.10 (4) & (5) respectively)
          5. A person may, pursuant to the ensuing provisions of this article, use physical force upon another person in self-defense or defense of a third person, or in defense of premises, or in order to prevent larceny of or criminal mischief to property, or in order to effect an arrest or prevent an escape from custody. Whenever a person is authorized by any such provision to use deadly physical force in any given circumstance, nothing contained in any other such provision may be deemed to negate or qualify such authorization.  (§ 35.10 (6))
        2. 35.15 Justification; use of physical force in defense of a person
          1. A person may, [. . .], use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by such other person. (§ 35.15 (1))
            1. Reasonable belief that the force is necessary and reasonable belief that the force being resisted is imminent and unlawful
              1. Police officers can wrongfully arrest somebody but the arrest is not unlawful so you can’t resist or fight back
            2. Exceptions
              1. Provocation Rule (§ 35.15 (1) (a))
                1. If you provoke an altercation with the intent of causing physical injury to another, you can’t use self-defense defense
              2. Person claiming self-defense was the initial aggressor can’t use self-defense defense (§ 35.15 (1) (b))
                1. Except if the initial aggressor has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated it to the other party but the other party persists in continuing the incident and the initial aggressor is threatened with the use or immediate use of unlawful physical force
              3. Duels/Combat Agreement Exception (§ 35.15 (1) (c))
                1. Self-defense doesn’t apply where there is a duel/combat by agreement
              4. General Rule: A person may not use DEADLY physical force (§ 35.15 (2))
                • Exceptions
                  1. Retreat Rule (§ 35.15 (2) (a))
                    1. Actor has a reasonable belief the other person is using or about to use deadly physical force. The actor must retreat if he or she knows that with complete personal safety, he or she may avoid the necessity of using deadly physical force.  However, a person does not have a duty to retreat when: (1) they are in their own dwelling and are not the initial aggressor (§ 35.15 (2) (a) (i)-Castle Exception; NY rule is that co-occupants have no duty to retreat (People v. Jones)); or (2) they are a police officer (§ 35.15 (2) (a) (ii))
                  2. Actor reasonably believes that such person is committing or attempting to commit a dangerous felony (kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible criminal sexual act, or robbery) (§ 35.15 (2) (b))
                  3. Actor reasonably believes that such person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary (§ 35.15 (2) (c))

2.   Competing public policies for self-defense

  1. Broad Policy: People have the inherent, moral right to defend themselves
    1. Natural law right to preserve one’s life
  2. Narrow Policy: Avoid unnecessary harm to others, even those who provoke attacks
    1. Self-defense should not be used as a cover for taking revenge
  3. Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS)
    1. BWS is a constellation of symptoms/behaviors that battered women all share
      1. Increased tension in the relationship leads to the woman feeling “learned hopelessness”
      2. Acute battering incident which leads to the boyfriend or spouse making false promises of improvement
      3. Return to normalcy, things get better for a while
        1. Occurs in cycles and progressively gets worse
      4. Self-defense is a reasonable, objective standard (People v. Goetz)
      5. Self-defense is not a defense to criminal possession of a weapon because the possession of the weapon is not imminent
    2. Defense of Property (§ 35.20)
      1. Cannot use deadly force to protect property
        1. Exception is if it’s a burglary and the ∆ is in his or her own home
      2. Necessity (§ 35.05 Justification; generally)
        1. Pretrial ruling is required
          1. To make sure the jury isn’t swayed by the defendant’s testimony
          2. To make sure the trial doesn’t turn into a political statement
        2. Law Enforcement Exception (§ 35.05 (1))
          1. Such conduct is required or authorized by law or by a judicial decree, or is performed by a public servant in the reasonable exercise of his official powers, duties or functions
        3. Emergency action needed to prevent imminent harm to self or others (§ 35.05 (2))
          1. Defendant cannot have caused the situation
        4. Necessity is a balancing test of the act that was committed against the need to commit the act
        5. Necessity defense is meant to be a catch-all defense
          1. If the Legislature had anticipated every situation in which the defense could be applied, they would have listed them in the statute but they didn’t
          2. Still a limited defense though
  • No necessity defense in demonstration cases where the injury trying to prevented is way too attenuated to be considered immediate (People v. Craig)
  1. Test for escaped convicts where they are justified (People v. Brown)
    1. Prisoner is faced with a specific threat in the immediate future
    2. No time for complaint to the authorities
  • No time to resort to the courts
  1. No evidence of force used against prison personnel or innocent individuals in the escape
  2. Prisoner immediately reports to proper authorities when he has attained a position of safety
  1. Consent
    1. A person can consent to a crime being committed against them in some circumstances
      1. Consent defense is not in the Penal Code, it is a creation of the courts and Model Penal Code
    2. Consent is a defense if it negates the mens rea
      1. Can raise it if:
        1. The injury is not serious;
        2. It was sports related (People v. Shacker)
          1. Victim may consent to the injury because in a sporting even you assume the risk; or
        3. It was justified
      2. Consent can’t be used when the victim was legally incompetent or it was obtained by force, duress, etc.
    3. Excuse Defenses
      1. Insanity (Not Responsible By Mental Disease or Defect) (§ 40.15)
        1. Shows up at different stages in the trial phase
          1. Competency to stand trial
            1. Defendant must be competent to stand trial and you can’t put the defendant in a situation where they don’t know where they are
              1. Results
                1. Discharged/timed out
                2. Restored to competency and proceed to trial
              2. Test: Does defendant understand what’s happening and can they assist in their own trial?
  • Often times competency proceedings turn into insanity defenses
  1. Diminished capacity (the guilt question)
    1. Defendant can’t be found guilty because he didn’t have the capacity to be guilty of the required mens rea
      1. Result
        1. Not guilty/freedom
      2. Insanity defense
        1. Affirmative defense (was an ordinary defense at common law)
        2. When the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct, he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease or defect. Such lack of criminal responsibility means that at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacked substantial capacity to know or appreciate either:
          1. The nature and consequences of such conduct; or
          2. That such conduct was wrong
  • Evolution of the insanity defense
    • Beginning: No defense-pardon instead
    • Wild Beast Test: only excused if defendant did not know what he was doing
    • M’Naughten Test (NY) (found in § 40.15)
      1. As a result of mental disease or defect, defendant lacks substantial capacity to know or appreciate:
        1. The nature and consequences of his/her conduct (Common law Wild Beast Test); or
        2. That such conduct was wrong
      2. The word “wrong” in prong 2 of the M’Naughten Test means morally and legally wrong which means the defendant is more likely to get the defense (People v. Schmidt; is the mental defect preventing the defendant from knowing right from wrong?)
    • American Law Institute Test (ALI/MPC Test)
      • “A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.”
        1. Allows defendant to get the insanity defense even if he knows it’s a crime because he’s compelled to commit or can’t resist committing the crime
      • Only place where the jury instructions need to be read verbatim
      • Results
        1. Found not guilty (by mental disease or defect)
        2. May be civilly committed to an asylum
      • Sentencing phase
        1. Allows for a lesser sentence because of an existing condition (i.e. judge may be nice because the person suffers from PTSD)
        2. Defendant might be able to get help while in jail
      • Always try to go for diminished capacity in the question of guilt because it gets them off as not guilty
        • If you can’t get diminished capacity, go for the insanity defense if it’s a serious crime or go for leniency at sentencing if it’s a less serious crime

Table part22

  1. Duress (§ 40.00)
    1. Affirmative defense
    2. Defendant engaged in proscribed conduct because he was coerced to do so by the use or threatened imminent use of unlawful physical force upon him or a third person, which force or threatened force a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist. (§ 40.00 (1))
      1. Defendant engaged in conduct because of coercion
      2. Use or threatened use of imminent, unlawful force
      3. Upon defendant or third person
      4. Reasonable person would not have been able to resist (objective standard)
      5. Exception: Not available when a person intentionally or recklessly places himself in a situation in which it is probable that he will be subjected to duress (§ 40.00 (2))
      6. Defense won’t stand up when the threats are too far removed or were past threats (People v. Brown)
    3. Differentiate from justification
      1. Justification comes from surrounding circumstances
      2. Duress comes from a third person
    4. NY allows duress in murder cases (“Kill that person or I’ll kill you.”)
      1. Why? Is one life worth more than another?
        1. There is an instinctual reaction when your life is threatened
      2. The person who places the defendant under duress is an accomplice to the murder
  • Entrapment (§ 40.05)
    1. Affirmative defense
    2. Defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was induced or encouraged to do so by a public servant, or by a person acting in cooperation with a public servant, seeking to obtain evidence against him for purposes of criminal prosecution, and when the methods used to obtain such evidence were such as to create a substantial risk that the offense would be committed by a person not otherwise disposed to commit it.
      1. Defendant engaged in conduct
      2. Was induced or encouraged
      3. By a public servant or agent
      4. The methods used created a substantial risk that the crime would be committed by someone not pre-disposed to commit it
      5. Not merely affording an opportunity
    3. Differentiate from duress
      1. The force placed on you in entrapment was by the police
    4. You are allowed to plead in the alternative (People v. Butts)
    5. All of defendant’s prior bad acts come into evidence if you use entrapment because it shows that the defendant may have been predisposed to commit a crime and it wasn’t the police manufacturing a crime
    6. Not a good idea to plead entrapment because you admit you committed the crime
      1. Only want to plead it when the defendant is squeaky clean (see People v. Isaacson)
    7. Constitutional Entrapment
      1. Outrageous government conduct that violates due process
    8. Remember to check for mistake of law/executive estoppel
  1. Renunciation Generally (§ 40.10)
    1. Affirmative defense
      1. Applies to Accomplice liability, Attempt, Facilitation, Conspiracy and Solicitation (slight changes for each, see corresponding sections)
    2. Needs to be voluntary and complete
      1. To be voluntary, the abandonment must reflect a change in the actor’s purpose or a change of heart that is not influenced by outside circumstances (People v. Taylor)
      2. To be complete, the abandonment must be permanent, not temporary or contingent, not simply a decision to postpone the criminal conduct until another time or to transfer the criminal effort to another victim (People v. Taylor)
  • Avoided commission of crime by
    1. Abandoning or
    2. Taking affirmative steps to stop the crime (if necessary)
  1. § 40.10 (5)-Renunciation is not voluntary and complete when
    1. It was stopped because there was increased risk of detection;
    2. It was stopped because the difficulty of committing the crime increased;
    3. It was stopped because it was postponed; or
    4. It was stopped because there was a change in victim or objective
  2. Legal Impossibility
    1. Refers to where the crime can’t be committed because it isn’t a crime at all not that the defendant can’t commit the crime because of circumstances outside of his or her control
  3. Specific Crimes
    1. Inchoate (Incomplete Offenses)
      1. Attempt (§110.00)
        1. Theory of criminal liability only, not a separate crime
        2. Mens rea: Intent
        3. A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime when, with intent to commit a crime, he engages in conduct which tends to effect the commission of such crime (§110.00)
        4. 2 categories
          1. Conduct Attempts
            1. Has defendant taken enough steps toward the crime?
              1. Mere preparation is not enough for attempt
              2. NY requires defendant to proceed further than the MPC’s substantial step requirement
                1. NY has the dangerous proximity requirement, asking how much was left?
                2. Also requires specific intent
              3. Circumstance and Result Attempts
                1. Look at the attendant circumstances as defendant believed them to be
                  1. Also need specific intent
                2. Cannot intend an unintentional result
  • It can’t be an attempt if it’s legally impossible to commit the crime
  1. No intent needs to be shown for circumstances
  1. 110.10 Attempt to commit a crime; no defense If the conduct in which a person engages otherwise constitutes an attempt to commit a crime, it is no defense that the crime charged to have been attempted was, under the attendant circumstances, factually or legally impossible of commission, if such crime could have been committed had the attendant circumstances been as such person believed them to be.
    1. If the attendant circumstances were as the defendant believed them to have been (but weren’t), it isn’t a defense that he couldn’t have committed the crime because the circumstances weren’t right
      1. Look at if the factual circumstances were as the defendant believed them to be, whether or not it would be a crime
        1. If it would have been a crime, defendant is guilty (despite factual impossibility)
          1. Factual impossibility=no defense
        2. If it would not have been a crime, it was legally impossible so defendant couldn’t be guilty
          1. Legal impossibility=defense
        3. Objective impossibility
          1. You can’t be found guilty of attempting to commit crime that has attempt built into it
            1. You can’t attempt to commit an attempted crime
          2. You can’t have specific intent to cause an unintended injury (i.e. no such thing as attempted assault 2º [110/120.05(3)]) (People v. Campbell)
          3. There can’t be an attempt when the result of the crime is one of strict liability (People v. Campbell)
            1. You can have an attempt when the strict liability crime is a circumstance based crime (People v. Saunders)
            2. Look at whether the strict liability crime was result or circumstance based
          4. Attempt Renunciation (§ 40.10 (3))
            1. Voluntary and complete
              1. Not increased risk of detection
              2. Not increased difficulty
  • Not postponement
  1. Not change of victim or venue
  1. Avoided commission of crime by:
    1. Abandoning or
    2. Taking affirmative steps to stop the crime (if necessary)
  2. Facilitation (Art. 115)
    1. Unique to NY
    2. Standalone crime
    3. Mens rea: Knowledge
      1. “Believing it probable”=knowledge (not knowledge with certainty but with probability)
    4. Actus Reus: Aids by providing means or opportunity for a FELONY
      1. Impossible to facilitate a misdemeanor or violation
    5. Facilitation always attaches to another crime (i.e. criminal facilitation of the sale of drugs)
      1. You can be charged with both facilitation and the crime you facilitated (under accomplice liability-so long as you share the same mental state)
    6. You don’t need to know what felony you’re facilitating so long as you know the person is committing a felony (People v. Adams)
    7. 115.10 Criminal facilitation; no defense It is no defense to a prosecution for criminal facilitation that:
      1. The person facilitated was not guilty of the underlying felony (§ 115.10 (1))
      2. The person facilitated has not been prosecuted or convicted of the underlying felony (§ 115.10 (2))
      3. The defendant himself is not guilty of the felony which he facilitated because he did not act with the requisite mens rea of the underlying crime (§ 115.10 (3))
    8. Facilitation Renunciation
      1. Substantial effort to prevent crime (§ 40.10 (2))
  • Conspiracy (Art. 105)
    1. Standalone crime
      1. Was a method for imputing liability at common law but not under the Penal Code
      2. Under common law (and still applicable to Federal Law), once you join a conspiracy, you are guilty of every crime done in furtherance of the conspiracy (Pinkerton Liability)
        1. Was a way to impute liability but in NY there is no vicarious liability
        2. You can only find conspirators guilty of the substantive crimes if there was accomplice liability
      3. Mens Rea: Intent
      4. Actus Reus: Agreement
        1. Unilateral agreement is all that is needed in NY, a bilateral agreement was needed at common law
        2. Only one party to the agreement has to intend that the crime be committed (People v. Berkowitz)
      5. Overt Act
        1. 105.20 Conspiracy; pleading and proof; necessity of overt act A person shall not be convicted of conspiracy unless an overt act is alleged and proved to have been committed by one of the conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy
        2. Only a slight requirement
          1. Not enough that the conspirators agreed but there needs to be a small step shown
        3. 105.30 Conspiracy; no defense It is no defense to a prosecution for conspiracy that, owing to criminal irresponsibility or other legal incapacity or exemption, or to unawareness of the criminal nature of the agreement or the object conduct or of the defendant’s criminal purpose or to other factors precluding the mental state required for the commission of conspiracy or the object crime, one or more of the defendant’s co-conspirators could not be guilty of conspiracy or the object crime
        4. Conspiracy Renunciation (§ 40.10 (4))-same as solicitation
          1. Voluntary and Complete
            1. Not increased risk of detection
            2. Not increased difficult
  • Not postponement
  1. Not a change in the victim or objective
  1. Prevented Crime
  1. Solicitation (Art. 100)
    1. Standalone crime
      1. Only a misdemeanor or violation
    2. Mens Rea: Intends
      1. Principle to commit crime
    3. Actus Reus: Solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or attempts to cause principle to commit the crime
    4. Not “necessarily incidental” (§ 100.20)
    5. The crime is in the communication (People v. Lubow)
      1. Solicitation allows you to get a person in the mere preparation zone where you can’t prosecute for attempt
    6. 100.15 Criminal solicitation; no defense It is no defense to a prosecution for criminal solicitation that the person solicited could not be guilty of the crime solicited owing to criminal irresponsibility or other legal incapacity or exemption, or to unawareness of the criminal nature of the conduct solicited or of the defendant’s criminal purpose or to other factors precluding the mental state required for the commission of the crime in question
    7. Solicitation Renunciation (§ 40.10 (4))-same as conspiracy
      1. Voluntary and Complete
        1. Not increased risk of detection
        2. Not increased difficult
  • Not postponement
  1. Not a change in the victim or objective
  1. Prevented Crime
  1. Crimes Against Person
    1. Homicide (Art. 125)
      1. General Principles
        1. Homicide at common law
          1. 2 kinds
            1. Murder
              1. 4 different mental states
                1. Intent to kill
                2. Intent to inflict serious bodily injury
  • Depraved indifference
  1. Felony murder
  1. NY Penal Law embodies all but intent to inflict serious bodily injury because that’s considered manslaughter in NY
  2. Common Law Murder 1º (punishable by death)
    1. Premeditation
    2. Cop killers/other special victims
  • Certain felony murders
  1. Murder 2º
    1. All other murders
  2. Manslaughter (life in prison)
    1. Voluntary
      1. Heat of passion
    2. Involuntary
      1. Recklessness
    3. NY Penal Law Homicide
      1. Murder
        1. Murder 1º
        2. Murder 2º (§ 125.25) (always start homicide analysis with Murder 2º and go up or down accordingly)
          1. Intentional (§ 125.25 (1))
          2. Depraved Indifference (§ 125.25 (2))
          3. Felony Murder (§ 125.25 (3))
        3. You can’t be guilty of murder in NY if you only intended to hurt someone
      2. Manslaughter
        1. Manslaughter 1º (Voluntary Manslaughter)
          1. Intent to cause serious physical injury resulting in death (§ 125.20 (1))
          2. Murder 2º lowered to Manslaughter 1º because of Extreme Emotional Disturbance (EED) (§ 125.25 (1) (a))
            1. Known as heat of passion defense at common law
          3. Manslaughter 2º (Involuntary Manslaugter)
            1. Recklessly causes the death of another person (§ 125.15 (1))
  • Criminally Negligent Homicide (§125.10)
    1. Causing the death of another through criminal negligence
  1. Murder 1º (§125.27)
    1. Can’t be charged against accomplices
    2. Needed premeditation at common law but not in NY
    3. Mens Rea: Intent
    4. Defendant must be 18 years or older (§ 125.27 (1) (b))
    5. Types of Murder 1º
      1. Intent + Special Victims (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (i)-(iii))
      2. Already Serving Life Sentence (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (iv))
  • Previously Convicted of Murder (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (ix))
  1. Intentional Murder During BRAKES Felony (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (viii))
    1. Intentional Felony Murder
      1. Murder 2º felony murder has no mens rea but Murder 1º requires intent
      2. No accomplice liability for Intentional Murder During a BRAKES Felony unless there is a command accomplice theory
    2. 2+ Murders in Same Transaction (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (viii)
    3. Torture (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (x))
  • Terrorism (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (xiii))
  • Contract Killing (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (vi))
  1. Serial Murder (§ 125.27 (1) (a) (xi))
  1. Murder 2º
    1. Intentional Murder (§ 125.25 (1))
      1. With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person
      2. “Intent does not require premeditation. [. . .], intent does not require advance planning.  Nor is it necessary that the intent be in a person’s mind for any particular period of time.  The intent can be formed, and need only exist, at the very moment the person engages in prohibited conduct or acts to cause the prohibited result, and not at any earlier time. [. . .] You may consider the person’s conduct and all of the circumstances surrounding that conduct, including but not limited to, the following: what, if anything, did the person say or do; what result, if any, followed the person’s conduct; and was that result the natural, necessary and probably consequence of that conduct.”  New York Criminal Jury Instructions
  • Exceptions:
    1. Extreme Emotional Disturbance (§ 125.25 (1) (a)) (affirmative defense)
      1. If EED is found, Murder 2º becomes Manslaughter 1º
      2. Test for EED (People v. Casassa)
        1. Defendant must have acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance (subjective: must show defendant’s state of mind-the reason was real and not made up), and
        2. There must have been a reasonable explanation or excuse for such extreme emotional disturbance (objective: would the reason that passed the first prong make a reasonable person act under the influence of EED?)
      3. Does not negate intent
        1. Need intent to kill + EED
        2. If you raise EED, you have to concede that there was intent
      4. Why does EED exist?
        1. These are situations that don’t normally arise and it’s understandable that the person acted the way he/she did and wouldn’t have acted that way except for the strange circumstances
      5. Only applies to Murder 2º, Attempted Murder 2º, and Murder 1º
    2. Caused or aided a person (without the use of duress or deception) in committing suicide (§ 125.25 (1) (b))
      1. Lowers Murder 2º to Manslaughter 2º
    3. Depraved Indifference Murder (§ 125.25 (2))
      1. Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes the death of another person
      2. Mens rea: Recklessness/circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life (pre-Feingold it was “super-recklessness)
        1. After People v. Feingold, the state started to look at the mens rea as circumstances evincing a depraved indifference
        2. Rosenblatt’s dissent in People v. Sanchez laid the groundwork for Feingold by calling for a bigger distinction between depraved indifference and recklessness
  • Can’t be guilty of depraved indifference murder and intentional murder
    1. Twin count indictment (i.e. indicting someone for intentional and depraved indifference murder)
      1. It’s a fall back, if one fails you still have the other
    2. 1-on-1 killings can’t be depraved indifference murders, they have to be intentional (People v. Payne)
      1. Exception
        1. When there are other people within the “zone of danger” (People v. Payne)
      2. 3 types of depraved indifference murder named by Rosenblatt in People v. Payne
        1. Defendant lacks intent to kill but is oblivious to the consequences of his/her actions and acts with a depraved indifference to human life (basically putting other people’s lives in danger)
        2. Defendant lacks intent to kill but acts with depraved indifference to the victim’s plight (basically torturing someone either while killing them or just before killing them—usually refers to children)
        3. Dangerous conduct, no intent to kill but with depraved wantonness (basically opening the door of the lion’s cage at the zoo)
          1. Rosenblatt’s analysis meant that depraved indifference murder cases became a lot more rare because depraved indifference murder was meant to be a narrow crime
        4. Subjective belief not necessary for depraved indifference murder but you need to take into account the objective circumstances (People v. Feingold)
          1. Creates a subjective mens rea test using the first words of the statute, “under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life”
            1. Did defendant believe his/her actions created circumstances which evinced a depraved indifference to human life?
          2. Felony Murder (§ 125.25 (3))
            1. Murder committed during the commission (or immediate flight there from) of any BRAKES felony (burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, escape, sexual offenses)
            2. No mental state attaches to felony murder, all you have to prove is that there was a murder and it was committed during the commission of a felony
              1. All felony murders are by definition accidental because if there was intent, it would be an intentional murder and wouldn’t fall under felony murder
  • Accomplice liability analysis under felony murder
    1. Did defendant have the mens rea required for the crime?
      1. No mens rea required for felony murder so no mens rea needs to be proved
    2. Did defendant solicit, request, command, or importune?
      1. If yes, then guilty under accomplice liability
    3. Exception: Nonslayer defense (§ 125.25 (3) (a)-(d))
      1. Affirmative defense
      2. Defendant did not do the killing;
      3. Was not armed;
      4. Did not know anyone else was armed; and
      5. Did not know a killing could result
        1. Intended for a very minor participant in the crime
        2. Reason it rarely works is because defendants generally know people are armed
      6. Limitations on felony murder
        1. Common Law
          1. Defendant must be guilty of underlying BRAKES felony
          2. Felony must be dangerous (originally applied to all felonie but was limited to inherently dangerous felonies)
          3. Merger
          4. Killing must be during or in the immediate flight
          5. Killing is in furtherance of the felony
          6. Death is foreseeable
          7. Victim must not be co-felon
        2. NY
          1. Defendant DOES NOT have to be guilty of the underlying felony
          2. Limited to BRAKES felonies
          3. Merger (de facto)
            1. Criminal assault can’t serve as the predicate felony for felony murder
          4. Killing is during or in the immediate flight
            1. Whether the homicide and the felony occurred in the same place and if not, consider the distance separating the two locations
            2. Consider the time interval between the commission of the felony and the commission of the murder
  • Whether defendant(s) still had possession of the fruits of the criminal activity
  1. Whether the police, watchmen, or concerned citizen(s) were in close pursuit
  2. Whether the criminal(s) had reached a place of temporary safety
  3. Other factors may also be considered by the jury (People v. Gladman)
  1. Killing is in furtherance of the felony
    1. Agency v. Proximate Cause
    2. An agent of the felon does not need to be the one who committed the murder, it’s enough that “but for” the defendant committing the act, the death would not have occurred (People v. Hernandez)
  • Death must be reasonably foreseeable (Hernandez)
  1. Death is foreseeable
  2. Victim must not be co-felon
    1. See Agency v. Proximate Cause
  3. Policy for felony murder is to deter people from committing one of the listed felonies
  1. Manslaughter 1º (Voluntary Manslaughter)
    1. See (VI, b, i, 1, b, ii, 1)
  2. Manslaughter 2º (Involuntary Manslaughter)
    1. Defendant perceived the risk but failed to act
  3. Criminally Negligent Homicide
    1. The negligence required for criminally negligent homicide is a higher form of negligence than under tort law
      1. There must a gross deviation from the standard of care for criminal liability to attach (People v. Beiter)
      2. How do you draw the line between civil and criminal negligence?
        1. Need to look at the facts of the case
        2. Beiter court says the conduct must constitute such a gross deviation from the standard of care in that it offends “the community’s general sense of right and wrong”
  • You can’t have criminal negligence just by the nonperception of a risk, there needs to be some type of affirmative action (i.e. speeding, running a red light, etc.) (People v. Boutin)
  1. Sexual Assault (Art. 130)
    1. Common Law (saying “no” is not enough)
      1. Vaginal intercourse
      2. Without consent
      3. By force or threat of force
        1. Rusk and Goldberg say you have to look at what the defendant did to put the woman in a state of fear
        2. Must show force by defendant and resistance by victim OR threats by defendant that puts victim in fear, in which case resistance by victim is excused
      4. New York
        1. All require lack of consent
        2. Rape
          1. Means intercourse
            1. Common Law Rape
              1. Vaginal intercourse
                1. Could only be between a man and a woman at CL
              2. By force or threat of force
              3. Without consent
            2. Rape 1º (§ 130.35)
              1. Mens Rea: Intent (read in by Williams)
              2. Actus Reus: Sexual Intercourse
              3. Lack of consent
              4. And either
                1. By forcible compulsion (physical force or threats)
                  1. NY has no resistance requirement
                  2. Also applies to Criminal Sexual Act 1º & Sexual Misconduct
  • Subjective standard so the question for threats is whether the victim felt threatened and not whether the defendant did something to cause the threatened feeling (but there is still the intent element so the defendant must intend to put the person in fear-objective requirement)
  1. Victim is physically helpless
  2. Victim is < 11 years old
  3. Victim is <13 and defendant is 18+
  • Rape 3º (Date Rape) (§ 130.25)
    1. Expressed non-consent
    2. Don’t need to prove force
    3. A reasonable person in the defendant’s position would be able to understand it as non-consent
      1. Same for Criminal Sexual Act 3º
    4. Criminal Sexual Act
      1. Means sodomy
        1. Means oral/anal conduct
      2. Sexual Misconduct
        1. Means any nonconsensual contact or intercourse, sex with animals or corpses
          1. Fallback position that is used generally in plea bargaining
        2. Forcible Touching and Sexual Abuse
          1. Means touching
          2. Non-consent proved by lack of acquiescence
            1. Unless the victim says yes, the crime has been committed
          3. Course of Sexual Conduct
            1. Means repeated touchings
          4. When dealing with age in sex crimes, it is not an element that the defendant knew the age of the victim so there can’t be a mistake of fact defense
          5. Intoxication is a defense if the mens rea is intent
            1. Intoxication would not be a defense to Criminal Sexual Act 3º because intent is not required
          6. Fraud will only equate to a lack of consent if the fraud tricks someone into doing something sexual that shouldn’t be sexual (i.e. Dr. saying a treatment will make a patient feel better and says he’s going to insert a device into her vagina but instead inserts his penis—she wasn’t consenting to the act so the result doesn’t matter)
  • Assault (Art. 120)
    1. Assault 3º (§ 120.00)
      1. Purpose crime
        1. The purpose of which is to cause injury
      2. Transferred intent applies
      3. Also encompasses reckless causing of physical injury and criminal negligence
        1. Criminal negligence requires the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (defined in § 10.00 (11) & (12))
          1. Body parts don’t qualify as dangerous instruments (People v. Owusu)
            1. How an object is used determines if it is dangerous
          2. Physical injury is defined as impairment of physical condition or substantial pain (§ 10.00 (9))
            1. Petty slaps don’t rise to the level of substantial pain (In Re Philip A.)
              1. Pain is not a wholly subjective standard but certain actions can’t create substantial pain (Philip A.)
            2. Assault 2º (§ 120.05)
              1. Assault 3º + serious physical injury (§ 120.05 (1))
              2. Intent to cause physical injury, transferred intent, and use of deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (§ 120.05 (2))
                1. Serious physical injury is defined as a physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ (§ 10.00 (10))
              3. Assault 1º (§ 120.10)
                1. Assault 2º + use of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument (§ 120.10 (1))
                2. Intent to disfigure seriously and permanently (§ 120.10 (2))
                3. Depraved indifference + recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a grave risk of death and causes serious physical injury (§ 120.10 (3))
                4. Causing physical injury to another (non-participant) during the commission of a felony (§ 120.10 (4))
              4. Gang Assault 1º
                1. Assault 2º + aided by 2 or more persons
                  1. No element saying you need to be a member of a street gang
                2. Menacing (Art. 120)
                  1. Menacing 1º (§ 120.13)
                    1. Defendant has been previously convicted of Menacing 2º
                  2. Menacing 2º (§ 120.14)
                    1. Placing someone in fear of physical injury by displaying a weapon (§ 120.14 (1))
                    2. Anti-stalking statute: Following someone around with the intent of placing them in fear (§ 120.14 (2))
                      1. Following or engaging in a course of conduct
                    3. Violating an order of protection (§ 120.14 (3))
                  3. Menacing 3º (§ 120.15)
                    1. Basically tortuous assault (placing another person in fear; no weapons requirement)
                  4. Reckless Endangerment
                    1. Essentially putting lives at risk of serious injury by reckless conduct
                      1. The defendant doesn’t intend the result but nevertheless acts recklessly
  • Kidnapping
    1. Unlawful restraint
    2. Although a lot of other crimes include restraint, the merger doctrine prohibits tacking on a kidnapping charge for those crimes
  • Coercion
    1. Compelling someone to engage in conduct that they have a legal right to abstain from
  1. Crimes Against Person and Property
    1. Robbery (Art. 160)
      1. Larceny + Force or Threat of Force
      2. Robbery 3º (§ 160.05)
        1. Forcible larceny
          1. If you don’t have a larceny, you can’t have robbery
          2. Force includes the use of physical force or the threatened fuse of immediate physical force
            1. No physical resistance requirement
  • The force has to be used for specific purposes (see § 160.00 (1) & (2))
  1. Simple pickpocket cases are larceny (not robbery) because there is no force
  1. Robbery 2º & 1º (§ 160.10, .15)
    1. Elevated by aggravating factors like more people present, use of a weapon, etc.
  2. No claim-of-right defense available in robbery because you can’t use force to re-take possession (People v. Green)
    1. Defense only in the sense that the defendant can use claim-of-right as a theory of the crime
    2. CLAIM OF RIGHT CAN STILL BE CHARGED TO THE JURY IN LARCENY CASES THOUGH
  3. Crimes Against Property
    1. Common Law
      1. Elements
        1. Trespassory
        2. Taking (Caption)
        3. And Carry Away (Asportation)
        4. Personal Property
        5. Of Another
        6. With Intent to Steal
      2. Larceny started out not as a way to protect property but as a way to stop violence
        1. Wanted people to have the option to peaceably retrieve their property without having to resort to self-help
      3. Punishable by death
      4. Changed with the shift from agrarian to mercantile economics because of the creation of self-service stores where people directly handled the goods
      5. Don’t interpret “taking” strictly, what is meant is using property inconsistently with someone’s wishes (most important element to the crt. in People v. Olivo is intent)
        1. Larceny can be found even before the defendant leaves the store as long as there is some action evidencing the larcenous intent
        2. Taking (caption) is very minor, so is carrying away (asportation)
          1. Asportation shows intent, not just that the defendant is browsing
          2. Exception: You don’t need asportation to show car theft because there is no question that the defendant is trying to steal the car if he is sitting behind the wheel and hotwiring the car
        3. Concurrence also applies
          1. Continuing Trespass Doctrine
            1. The intent and taking must co-occur but the taking is ongoing so anytime you form the intent, both elements are met
          2. Larceny requires the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the use and enjoyment of the property
            1. Joyriding is not a larceny because you intend to return the car
              1. Legislature created different laws to deal with joyriding (Unauthorized use of a vehicle §§ 165.05, .06, & .08)
            2. Types of CL Larceny
              1. Larceny (Trespassory Taking)
              2. Larceny by Trick
              3. False Pretenses
              4. Embezzlement
              5. They were treated as separate offenses at CL
            3. Larceny (Statutory) (Art. 155)
              1. Elements
                1. Wrongful Taking
                  1. “Dominion and control wholly inconsistent with the continued rights of the owner”
                2. Of Property
                3. Of Another
                4. With Intent
                5. To Deprive
                  1. Permanently or to dispose of the property
                  2. Or long enough to deprive a person of its value/use and enjoyment
                6. Doesn’t require a deprivation
                  1. Defendant just have to have the purpose of depriving the owner of the right
                7. NY Consolidated Theft Statute
                  1. You just charge theft and let the charge sort itself out
                  2. Only larceny that needs to be pled specifically is extortion
                8. NY Penal Law larceny includes
                  1. CL Trespassory Taking
                  2. Embezzlement
                    1. Fraudulent
                    2. Conversion of
  • Property
  1. Of Another
  2. By Someone Who is Already in Lawful Possession of it
  3. Larceny or Embezzlement?
    1. No special trust à Taking=From Possession of Another à Larceny (came into possession UNLAWFULLY)
    2. Special Trust à Taking=From Own Custody or Care à Embezzlement (came into possession LAWFULLY but then converted it)
  • Embezzlement is an abuse of special trust
  1. CL Larceny by Trick
    1. Defendant makes false representation to victim and victim gives possession to defendant
  2. CL Larceny be False Pretenses
    1. Defendant makes false representation to victim and victim gives title to defendant
      1. Lie about past or present facts
    2. Larceny by False Promises
      1. Defendant makes false promise of future performance and victim gives title to defendant
        1. Lie about future facts
      2. For Trick, False Pretenses, and False Promises
        1. The breach of the agreement is not enough to show wrongful intent
          1. “Such a finding may be based only upon evidence establishing that the facts and circumstances of the case are wholly inconsistent with innocent intent or belief…” (§ 155.05 (2) (d))
          2. Must be proved by showing that the at the time of the promise, defendant had no intent to ever perform
        2. 155.15 (1) Unconstitutional
          1. Can’t force the defendant to prove an element of the crime that the People have to prove by shifting the burden and making the defense an affirmative one (People v. Chesler)
          2. Statute is still on the books but the defense can only be used as an ordinary defense
        3. Crimes Against Habitation
          1. Burglary (Art. 140)
            1. NOT a crime about protecting property
              1. Designed to protect families who are sleeping at night and to protect against the violence that would ensue if the family wakes up
            2. Common Law Burglary
              1. Breaking and
              2. Entering
              3. Of a Dwelling
              4. Of Another
              5. At Night
              6. With Intent to Commit a Felony
            3. Penal Law Burglary

Table part21

  1. Eliminated:
    1. Breaking requirement
    2. Night time requirement
  • Felony requirement
  1. Broadens the purpose of burglary by saying a building can be burglarized
  2. Lesser included offenses
    1. You are guilty (technically) of the lower charges but you can’t be found guilty of all burglaries
  3. You don’t need to show what specific crime the defendant meant to commit, it’s enough to say that the ∆ intended to commit a crime (People v. Mackey)
    1. A violation does not constitute a crime for the purposes of the statute (People v. Pangburn)
    2. Can’t be charged with burglary unless you had intent to commit a crime in the building/dwelling before or when you broke in (Concurrence)
      1. In order to be guilty under the unlawfully remaining prong, you must have entered legally but remained for the purpose of committing a crime
      2. In order to be guilty under the unlawful entry prong, you must have had the intent to commit a crime at the time of the entry (People v. Gaines)
    3. You can’t burglarize your own house/property (only remaining element from CL burglary is “of another”)
      1. Except: Orders of protection take away your right to possession of your property (People v. Scott)
    4. Arson (Art. 150)
      1. Arson 5º (§ 150.01)=intent + damage to property + without consent + fire
      2. Arson 4º (§ 150.05)=reckless + burning + building
      3. Arson 3º (§150.10)=intent + burning + building
      4. Arson 2º (§ 150.15)=Arson 3º + knows or should have known it would be occupied
      5. Arson 1º (§ 150.20)=Arson 2º + explosive device
      6. Definition of building is the same as burglary (People v. Fox)
    5. Crimes Against Public Order
      1. Disorderly Conduct
        1. Violation
        2. Deals with various situations where defendants are causing public alarm
        3. Must be public in nature
          1. A private dispute in itself will not rise to the nature of disorderly conduct
        4. Harassment
          1. Harassment 2 º
            1. Essentially a tortious battery: offensive touching that doesn’t cause injury
          2. Crimes Against Public Administration
            1. Official Misconduct
              1. Deals with Gov’t officials who get some kind of unlawful benefit from conducting their job
            2. OGA (Obstructing the Administration of Government)
              1. Where a defendant prevents or tries to prevent a Gov’t official from doing his/her job
              2. Already has attempt built into it so you can’t charge attempt
  • Resisting Arrest
    1. Intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer from effecting an authorized arrest
  1. Drug Crimes
    1. Possession
      1. Can be actual or constructive
      2. Difference between marijuana (Art. 221) and controlled substances (Art. 220)
        1. Gov’t puts out “schedules” for controlled substances
          1. Schedule I: most potent controlled substances
          2. Schedule V: least potent
  • Narcotics are a subset of controlled substances (found in Schedules I (b), (c), II (b), (c))
  1. Possession ranges from 7º-1º (no 6º)
    1. Increased for higher weights and previous convictions
      1. People do not need to prove “knowingly” in respect to the weight of the drugs
    2. Criminal possession of a controlled substance 5º (§ 220.06 (1)) includes intent to sell
      1. Evidence used to say there was intent to sell
        1. Large quantities
        2. Divided up in bags
        3. Defendant may have a lot of money on them
      2. No such thing as possession with intent to sell for marijuana
    3. Unlawful possession means simply without a prescription
  2. Sale
    1. Does not need to have consideration for there to be a sale
      1. So giving drugs away constitutes a sale
    2. All felonies
    3. Car floors held to be public places (People v. Guzman)
    4. Agency defense (ordinary defense)
      1. Defendant was acting on behalf of the buyer and not the seller
      2. Not really a defense, it’s more of a way of proving less accomplice liability
      3. As an agent, defendant would an accomplice to the purchase, not the sale (so lesser punishment)
        1. There is not crime for buying drugs so if defendant can prove he was an agent of the buyer, there is no charge against him except for possession
      4. Criminal sale is one of the only charges where you are allowed to bring in the past history of the defendant
    5. Traffic Crimes
      1. DWI
        1. Strict liability crime
        2. Procedure
          1. Police see suspicious driving behavior
          2. Traffic stop
            1. Inquiry/conversation
            2. Field sobriety tasks (FSTs)
  • Alcosenor (very unreliable & generally inadmissible)
  1. Arrest (lawful)
  2. Transport to precinct
  3. Intoxilizer 5000
    1. Warnings
    2. Breath sample
  • Refusal?
    1. When you get your license you sign an implied consent agreement saying that if you refuse to give a breath sample, your license will automatically be revoked for a year
  1. Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192
    1. Actus Reus: Operation
      1. Does not necessarily mean driving
      2. All that is needed is for the defendant to be sitting in the driver’s seat with the intent to drive
  • Driving needs to be in a public place
  1. 1192 (1)-Driving while ability impaired
    1. Not a crime
  2. 1192 (2)-DWI (per se)
    1. .08 BAC or more
    2. No showing of impairment needed, the .08 is enough (hence the per se)
  3. 1192 (3)-DWI
    1. Only need a showing of impairment
  4. 1194 (4)-Driving while ability impaired by drugs
  1. No crime of attempted DWI (People v. Prescott)
  1. Reckless Driving
    1. Operating a motor vehicle (defined in the Penal Law) in a reckless way
      1. Recklessness is not aimed at the potential injury that could result but the way the vehicle is operated
    2. Gun Charges
      1. Generally
        1. C. v. Heller found a right to possession of handguns for self-defense purposes
        2. McDonald v. City of Chicago applied it to the state’s through incorporation
      2. 2nd Amendment
        1. Applies to firearms but the firearms can be restricted by the states
        2. CPW 4º (§ 265.01)
          1. Strict liability/knowledge because the actus reus of possession implies knowledge
        3. Difference in the higher degrees of CPW is in the attendant circumstances
        4. NYC’s firearm registration procedures and CPW statutes are not unconstitutional because the S.Ct. said that the states can regulate the types of guns allowed and who can and cannot own them and the registration process allows for appeals if the potential owner does not agree
          1. Only criminalizes possession of a weapon if you don’t have a license, an exemption in the Penal Code exempts people who have a license for their handguns from CPW charges
          2. CPW 3º (§ 265.02)
            1. § 265.02 (7) talks about assault weapons and bans them
              1. Constitutional because assault weapons are not necessary for self-defense

Download full outline