is the unlawful killing of one person by another.
Murder is the killing of one person by another with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is the mental component to murder. Criteria for a murder charge are one or more of the following: intention to kill, reckless indifference of life, constructive murder and/or death during intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
- Felony Murder occurs when the offender causes the death of the victim while engaged in a serious criminal offence.
- Manslaughter is the killing of someone in circumstances less culpable than murder
- Voluntary Manslaughter is where the intention to kill or cause the act is mitigated by other factors, such as provocation or diminished responsibility. Some examples are self-defence, provocation or diminished responsibility.
- Involuntary Manslaughter is manslaughter as a result of negligence. Technically, it is non-reckless indifference to life or manslaughter by criminal negligence, reckless indifference to grievous bodily harm or manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act.
- Non-criminal Killing involves death of the victim by non-criminal negligence, death by an unlawful act that is not dangerous, accidental death or the killing of an individual in self defence.
- Infanticide or child destruction is the killing of a child who is less than twelve months old by the mother when her mind has been affected by the birth of that child or by lactation.
Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery was historically two different crimes: assault being threat of violence and battery being the physical attack. Assault today means both the threat of physical violence and the actual violence itself.
Sexual Assault occurs if a person has sexually interfered with or had sexual intercourse with another person without their consent or with a person who does not have the ability to consent (for example, is drunk, too young or mentally incapable).
Aggravated sexual assault is sexual assault plus the presence of aggravation including threatened or actual injury, or where the victim is under sixteen or disabled.
Aggravated Sexual Assault in company is the same as aggravated sexual assault but includes in the company of another person/s.
Assault W/ intent to have sexual intercourse is the threat to or actual bodily harm in an attempt to have non-consenting sexual intercourse.
Indecent assault is the assault of a person where the offender also attempts to commit an act of indecency upon the victim.
Aggravated Indecent Assault involves aggravation during an act of indecent assault.
Economic offences (property/white collar crime) involve damage to or loss of the victim’s property.
Crimes against property
Larceny or Theft is a common law offence of taking the property out of someone’s possession and ‘carrying it away’ with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of that property.
Breaking and Entering is one of the most common property offences, and involves the forced entry into a building or part of a building in order to commit a crime inside the building
Robbery is the taking of someone’s property, from his or her person or in his or her vicinity, by the use of violence or the threat of violence. Due to the use or threat of use of violence, robbery is often described as an offence against the person.
Other offences in clued Receiving [the possession of something that is stolen or assumed to be stolen], Extortion [a public officer using their power to demand money or other favours; includes threats and blackmail to obtain money or property], Embezzlement [the stealing of money or property belonging to employer or employee], Vandalism [the deliberate destruction or damaging of property and Arson [maliciously destroying property, usually by deliberately and illegally setting a fire].
White-collar crime is the dishonest taking of money or property from a business by fraudulent means or non-compliance with the law.
Computer crime~ hacking into a computer system in order to commit a crime or erase evidence of a crime. There are also offences of software piracy and the deliberate insertion of virus into computer networks.
Corrupt commissions or practices: the receiving of any payment and or benefit for doing or not doing something in relation to work.
Forgery is the counterfeiting or altering of any part of a signature, writing, document, seal or die by any means with the intent to defraud (cheat).
Fraud is the attempt to obtain money or material advantage by unfair or deceitful means.
Tax Evasion is the deliberate falsification of income to reduce tax liability (serious offence, one of most common crimes).
Insider trading is the use of confidential information to manipulate share prices for personal gain.
Offences against the state:
Treason involves a breach of allegiance to the Crown by trying to kill the King/Queen, heir, spouse, going to/ assisting an enemy in war against Aust or inciting a foreign power to invade Aust.
Sedition involves the incitement of hatred of the sovereign or govt or the intention to incite violence against the govt to overthrow it.
Possession: the possession of any substance that is illegal under the law, prosctn must show the accused had physical control of it and had the intention to posses or knew the location of the illegal drug.
Use: the consumption of any illegal drug.
Possession of equipment for the use or manufacture of illegal drugs: the possession of instruments of administration (not syringes in NSW) or involvement in the manufacture of illegal drugs.
Importation of illegal drugs: importation of illegal drugs into Aust for use or sale (Federal offence).
Supply or possession for the purposes of trafficking: intention of, selling of illegal drugs, giving or having in possession a quantity of drugs considered a trafficable quantity (more than for personal use).
Conspiracy: an agreement to supply or commit an offence concerning drugs (often used is there is insufficient evidence for another charge).
A public order offence
A public order offence is a behaviour that results in a disturbance of order that directly or indirectly affects the public in some way
- Offensive conduct or language
- Obscene exposure
- Damaging fountains etc. or defacing walls
- Possession of liquor by minors
- Unauthorised public assembly
- Violent disorder, conduct while drunk
The enforcement of such crimes involves discretion by the police, magistrate of judge, the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) has a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment for malicious damage to property while the Summary Offences Act (NSW) has a fine up to $400 for defacing walls, statutes etc, thus the penalty depends on under which act the defendant is charged
Traffic offences are both statutory and strict liability offences and are among the most common.
Eg: Driving over the speed limit
Driving through a stop sign or red light
Driving in a dangerous manner CULPABLE~ deserving condemnation or blame as wrong or harmful
Driving over the BAL
Driving without a licence
The offence of culpable driving is the most serious traffic offence.
Negligent driving that causes death or serious injury to a person, where the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving in a dangerous manner or speed. The maximum penalties range from 7-10 years.
‘Victimless’ crimes are offences that do not threaten another person or property. The most common victimless crime is illegal drug use.
Preliminary crimes (attempts, conspiracy):
Attempts: An attempt to commit a criminal offence is itself a criminal act.
Proving attempts is easier if the arrest takes place close to the performing of the intended crime.
Attempts are punishable by the same penalty as if the time had taken place.
It is covered by sections 344A Crimes Act 1900(NSW).
The prosecution will have to prove the Mens Rea and that the Actus Reus would have taken place had the police not intervened.
Conspiracy: When two or more people agree to commit an unlawful act and can be proven even if the act didn’t take place. Conspiracy to commit crimes defined in the Crimes Act 1900(NSW). In conspiracy rhe Actus Reus is the agreement to commit the offence proven by documents, witnesses phone taps etc. The Mens Rea is also the agreement that is the intention to commit the offence and to agree with others.