${site.data.firmName} ${site.data.firmName}
Free Consultation No recovery - No Fee
215-822-7575 / 800-358-9367
Practice Areas

The elements of a crime

The attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford have been helping Pennsylvania residents defend against criminal charges for over 60 years. In that time, our cases have run the gamut from sexual and drug offenses to white collar crimes. While we assess each client’s situation individually, there are certain common components shared by almost all criminal cases.  

Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute explains that, although there are many different types of crimes, the elements of a crime usually break down to two core elements: actus reus and mens rea. 

Actus reus is the action component of a criminal offense. According to the LII’s actus reus page, this action can be direct or indirect, as a 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case found that omissions or failures to act can also fulfill this element. The element of mens rea speaks to the mental state of the defendant. The LII’s page on the topic indicates that defendants must have had the requisite criminal intent in order to be found guilty of a charge.

In other words, the elements of actus reus and mens rea require that defendants’ criminal actions be paired with a culpable mindset. To obtain a conviction, prosecutors must establish the existence of both elements beyond a reasonable doubt.   

It should be noted that in civil litigation the injured party only needs to show that a defendant was liable for damages. The standard used in these cases is easier to meet than that required in criminal prosecutions, so criminal and civil trials regarding the same incident may produce different results for the defendant. 

If you have been charged with a crime and would like to learn more about your defense options, please see our page on criminal defense in Montgomery County. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Gregory R. Gifford
  • RGS&G Firm News

    "Matthew Taylor Wilkov, Esquire, Graduates from U.S. Army War College"
    LANSDALE – Gregory Gifford, managing partner of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. says the firm is honored to have a U.S. Army War College graduate among its ranks.Read more...

  • Super Lawyers | Rising Stars
  • National board of legal speciality certification
  • American college of trial lawyers
  • National board of trial advocacy | EST 1977
  • 2013 | Subarbanlife | Awesome Attorneys
  • PennSuburban | Chamber of commerce

Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford has been a member of the local Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce (previously known as North Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce) for more than 25 years.

You Have Questions? We Have Answers. Fill out the form and an attorney will be in touch with you shortly.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

start now. send your request