Difference between revisions of "Actus Reus (Voluntary Act)"

From Criminal Defense Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
 
(10 intermediate revisions by 2 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
'Actus Reus' refers to the requirement that the defendant have carried out a voluntary act. It is important to distinguish such acts from thoughts, words, states of possession, or status; involuntary acts; and omissions.
+
'Actus Reus' refers to the requirement that the defendant have carried out a voluntary act. It is important to distinguish such acts from thoughts, words, states of possession, or status; involuntary acts; and omissions.  
 +
 
 +
Actus Reus is one of four elements that must exist in order for a [[crimes | crime]] to have occurred. The other three are:
 +
 
 +
* [[Mens Rea (Culpable Mental State)]]
 +
* Concurrence of Actus Reus and Mens Rea
 +
* Damages
  
 
== Model Penal Code ==
 
== Model Penal Code ==
 +
The American Law Institute's Model Penal Code, which has been influential in the standardization of criminal law in the United States, sets out the following provision with respect to the act requirement:
 +
 +
 +
 +
1. A person is not guilty of an offense unless his liability is based on conduct which includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which he is physically capable.
 +
 +
2. The following are not voluntary acts within the meaning of this Section:
 +
 +
*(a) a reflex or convulsion;
 +
*(b) a bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep;
 +
*(c) conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion;
 +
*(d) a bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor, either conscious or habitual.
 +
 +
3. Liability for the commission of an offense may not be based on an omission unaccompanied by action unless:
 +
*(a) the omission is expressly made sufficient by the law defining the offense; or
 +
*(b) a duty to perform the omitted act is otherwise imposed by law.
 +
 +
4. Possession is an act, within the meaning of this Section, if the possessor knowingly procured or received the thing possessed or was aware of his control thereof for a sufficient period to have been able to terminate his possession.
  
 
== What Are Not Acts ==
 
== What Are Not Acts ==

Latest revision as of 14:31, 15 July 2010