Every crime must have 4 elements met to be considered an illegal act. These would be:
1. An Act
2. Criminal Intent or a guilty mind
3. The act and criminal intent has to come together
4. It must cause harm.
Definition of a crime is “An act or omission to act that violates the peace, or goes against the health, safety, welfare, and/or morals of fellow citizens, without justification or excuse, and is punishable by law”.
All crimes require a physical, voluntary act. Peoples thoughts are not crimes. You cannot be prosecuted because you are thinking about committing a crime. However, people’s words can be a crime(verbal threats). A crime must be done of your own free will, involuntary acts cannot be prosecuted.
CRIMINAL INTENT/GUILTY MIND
Crime is not done by accident. A crime has to intentional and reckless. There are 4 mental states of a crime:
1. Intentionally- You are doing it on purpose
2. Knowingly- You do something that a certain result will happen
3. Recklessly- A conscious disregard for a justifiable risk
4. Negligently- Should be aware, and fail to perceive that risk
When you have Criminal Intent and The act together you have the 3rd element of a crime. It is called concurrence, or bring it all together. Combined with these three you now have a harmful result.