The Three Elements of Crime
By Dalton Kelly
AWARNESS OF DUTY
Definition : Person must be aware that they were suppose to do something or not do something.
- People must be aware that they were supposed to do something in order to be charged with not doing something.
- In civil cases, awareness of duty must be established to find someone liable.
- When laws are in the books people must know them and follow the laws.
VIOLATION OF DUTY
Definition: To be charged with not doing something that you were supposed to be doing.
- In most criminal laws, this element is unspoken.
- This is second in the order, because once you are aware of the duty, then you can break it.
- This is very important piece in determining the outcome of a trial.
Definition: The Intent to commit a crime, as evidenced by a criminal act.
- This is the final element to be examined.
- Mainly applies to civil cases.
- Describes a person's state of mind.
- Can be used to determine guilt or innocence in some cases.