A Layperson's Guide to Criminal Law

By Raneta Lawson Mack | Go to book overview

8
Miscellaneous Criminal Offenses

Had I a hundred tongues, a hundred mouths, a voice of iron and a chest of brass, I could not tell all the forms of crime, could not name all the types of punishment.

-- Virgil

This chapter will explore a variety of unrelated criminal offenses that occur with varying degrees of regularity in the American criminal justice system. Since these crimes don't quite fit within any categories of the other chapters, they are set forth separately in this chapter to familiarize readers with the essential elements and issues that may arise when these offenses are charged or prosecuted. The crimes discussed in this chapter are kidnapping, arson, assault and battery, and drug and weapons offenses.


KIDNAPPING

A kidnapping occurs when the defendant either secretly confines the victim against his will or transports the victim from one place to another by force, threat of force or deceit with the intent to secretly confine the victim against his will. The essential elements of proof in a kidnapping case focus upon the defendant's knowledge and intent and the secret and nonconsensual nature of the victim's abduction and/or restraint. In some jurisdictions, the crime of kidnapping also requires that the defendant abduct or restrain

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