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Elements Of A Crime Essay

550 words - 3 pages

Elements of a Crime
Jennifer Green
Kaplan University

Elements of a Crime
Every society has to deal with acts that are considered social wrong from its citizens. Almost all crimes consist of two elements, mental and physical. Mens Rea is the mental aspect of a crime. In order to achieve a crime, the Mens Rea requirement under the model penal code, a purposeful act, a knowing act, a reckless act, and a negligent act must be present. Each act is part of the state of mind of the person committing the acts. A purposeful act is an intentional act from the person committing the crime. For example, if a gunmen walks into a busy toy store during the holiday season while shoppers are shopping and shots a loaded gun, this could be considered a purposeful act. A ...view middle of the document...

If the driver was driving on a deserted road with no other drivers in sight and suddenly hits someone on the side of the road, this could be considered a negligent act. All four acts must be present in Mens Rea.
The second element of a crime is Actus Reus. This included the physical aspect of the crime committed. Under the model penal code in order to achieve actus reus, the act must be voluntary. The model penal code clearly defines four requirements of a voluntary act. A physical act has to be proven in a crime, however a mental act does not have to be proven.
Under the criminal statue states sometimes both the mental and physical elements of the crime must act together. This is defined as concurrence. “ The mental statue must be the reason that the physical occurred and must occur before the physical act.”
In the Simmons matter various aspects of a crime are present in the defendants statement. All four elements of mens rea are present. The purposeful act could be considered when Jacob Simmons got so angry that he threw a bottle at Ron Opal. The Knowing act in the matter is the fact that Jacob Simmons knew that throwing a glass bottle at Ron Opal would cause injury. The reckless act could be considered the act of throwing a bottle in a bar with other patrons. The negligent act is when Jacob threw the bottle at Ron Opel. What if the bottle would have shattered and hurt other patrons in Ron’s area? The actus rea is almost present in the crime since Jacob Simmons acknowledge that he physically threw a bottle at Ron Opal. Since the acuts rea and mens rea have both been proven and concur with each other, its clear that a crime has been committed.


Hames, Joanne B., Yvonne Ekern. Introduction to Law, 4th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 07/2009. VitalBook file.

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