Officer:Please take a deep breath, Ms. Sanders, and tell me what happened.
Woman: Okay, officer. I was returning to my hotel. And a man suddenly came up behind me.
Officer:What did he look like?
Woman:I don’t know. He wore a mask over his face. But I know he had a knife.
Officer:Are you hurt?
Woman:No, he didn’t cut me. He just held the knife out and demanded money. So I gave him my cash and gold ring.
Officer:Well, I’m glad you’re all right. You did the right thing. Now, I’ll just get a crime report form and take down all of the details, if that is OK?
Incident type: __________________________________________________
Describe the incident: ___________________________________________
If items were stolen, list them _____________________________________
Give a sight translation of the texts
CLASSIFICATIONS OF CRIMES
Crime is considered an act against the public good. Our laws in the United States detail crimes and provide punishment by fine, imprisonment, or both. In a criminal proceeding, the state or federal government, representing the public at large, is the plaintiff, or the party that accuses a person of a crime. The prosecutor is the government attorney who presents the case in court against the person accused, called the defendant.
Felonies. A felony is a major crime punishable by imprisonment or death. The punishment set for a particular crime determines whether it is a felony. Murder, manslaughter, burglary, robbery, and arson are examples of felonies. Some states, such as New Jersey, do not use the word felony. New Jersey labels its most serious crimes “high misdemeanors.”
Misdemeanors. A less serious crime with a less severe penalty is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are penalized by a fine or brief imprisonment in a county or city jail. Driving an automobile without a license, lying about one’s age to purchase alcohol, and leaving the scene of an automobile accident are examples of misdemeanors. Some states also classify lesser crimes as minor misdemeanors or petty offenses. Typical examples of these types of offenses include some traffic and parking violations.
Elements of a Crime
A crime is defined by two elements: the criminal act and the required state of mind. The two elements may be defined somewhat differently by the states, but definitions are similar enough to allow certain generalizations.
Criminal Act. Most criminal statutes specifically explain conduct that is forbidden. For example, a statute that makes stealing a crime specifically prohibits the wrongful taking of another person’s personal property. Some criminal law statutes, however, make failure to act a crime. For instance, a young man who fails to register for the draft after reaching his eighteenth birthday has committed a crime. A criminal act must also involve voluntary conduct. Similarly, a person cannot be accused of a crime if that accusation is based on one’s physical or mental status or condition. For example, the government could not make it a crime to be an alcoholic because alcoholism is a physical condition. However, the government can have laws regarding at what age a person can consume alcohol.
Required State of Mind. The second element establishing a crime is the required state of mind. A statute defining murder forbids the intentional taking of a person’s life; the required mental state is intent. In contrast, a statute defining involuntary manslaughter outlaws the accidental taking of a person’s life. In both statutes the criminal act involves taking a life, but the crime changes according to the state of mind of the person committing the act.
Motive. When television and movie detectives hunt for a criminal, they always seem to make the motive for a crime a crucial part of their case. This is misleading because motive actually plays no part in proving criminal liability. If a person has committed a forbidden act with the required state of mind, then he or she is criminally liable, regardless of motive.
I. Make a list of legal terms.
II. Give a short summary of the text by answering the following questions:
- What is a crime?
- What is the classification of crimes? Give examples.
- How are they punished?
- What elements is a crime defined by? Explain what they mean.
- What role does motive play in proving criminal liability?
III. Find the English equivalents for the following expressions:
2. Заключение в тюрьму
5. Представлять дело в суде
6. Ответчик, подсудимый
7. Наказуемый, заслуживающий наказания
8. Личное имущество
9. Преступное деяние
10. Психическое состояние, душевное состояние, умонастроение
11. Быть обвиненным в совершении преступления
12. Уголовная ответственность