Criminal Liability and the Use of Force Essay

Criminal Liability and the Use of Force Essay

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Criminal Liability and the Use of Force
In today’s world it is of utmost importance that law enforcement understands how to determine culpability with regards to criminal activity as definitions surrounding what constitutes a particular crime can be confusing. Just as important is the ability to know when to use force, what constitutes use of force, and how that force can and cannot be applied. In determining culpability one must remember that criminal responsibility also has the potential to be used to excuse a person from acts committed that could result in arrest, incarceration, or other legal sanctions (Gardner & Anderson, 2012, p. 109). Criminal acts such as solicitation, attempt, and conspiracy are usually considered a misdemeanor; however, should law enforcement prove that a violent or harsher criminal act was the outcome of such an action; it could result in additional charges as well as stricter punishments.
Solicitation, for example, is the act of encouraging another person to engage in criminal activity. Two of the most common examples of solicitation are offering someone money to engage in sexual activity (prostitution) and asking, offering money, or trying to emotionally blackmail someone to commit murder.
A person who attempts to solicit another to engage in behavior that is criminal in nature can be charged with a crime even if the act is never committed. Solicitation is an inchoate crime as is attempt and conspiracy. The State of Florida incorporates all three under one statute -Chapter 777- 777.04 Attempts, Solicitation, and Conspiracy (The Florida Legislature, 1995-2014). The most important element of this crime is intent (mens rea). Establishing intent is crucial in proving the varying degrees of cr...

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Net Industries. (2014). Solicitation - Statutory Development. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from
Scarry, L. L. (2005, September 23). The 4th Amendment and deadly force. Retrieved February 8, 2014, from
The Florida Legislature. (1995-2014). The 2013 Florida Statutes. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from Online Sunshine:
WFTV. (2011, May 20). Surveillance Shows Officer Throwing Woman On Ground. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from

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