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A. Read the questions and discuss them in groups


The criminal law typically is enforced by the government.

Point out sentences with Passive Voice in the text and explain the use.


2. Transform the sentences in Active voice into the sentences in Passive Voice according to the model:

Model: The government typically enforce the criminal law.

1) Private parties usually enforce the civil law.

2) Criminal punishment may include execution, loss of liberty, government supervision (parole or probation), or fines.

3) They classify this act as a crime.

4) In a criminal case the state initiates the suit.

5) In a civil case the victim brings the suit.

6) They may incarcerate persons convicted of a crime.


Q 1: What is the difference between criminal and civil law?

Q 2: Can an event be both a criminal and civil offence?

Q 3: Can being present at the scene of a crime make you guilty?

Q 4: What is the definition of "criminal trespass?"

Q 5: What exactly is the felony murder law?

Q 6: What exactly does the term "eluding a police officer" mean?

Q 7: I was the victim of a hit and run. I located the offending vehicle and owner. What should I do to pursue this?

Q 8: I was involved in a hit and run accident but left the scene. Do I need an attorney to go to court with me?



B. Match the questions from part A with the answers (ATTENTION: the answers are given from the point of view of American legislation).


 A: Felony murder means that all persons engaged in a felony are liable for murder if one of them kills a person during the crime.

The precise definition of felony murder varies from state to state. Generally, someone is liable for murder if, during the course of committing a serious felony with another person, someone other than one of the participants is killed.

A "serious felony" is one like arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or rape.

In some states, it's a defense to felony murder if the defendant was unarmed and had no reason to believe that any of his co-conspirators was either armed or intended to engage in any conduct dangerous to life.


 A: Civil law is concerned with relationships between individuals and is addressed in civil court. Criminal law pertains to the relationship between an individual and the state. Cases that are prosecuted are heard in criminal court.


 A: Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run) is a serious offense. In many states, it carries enough points to result in a revocation of your driving privileges. It also carries a possible fine and jail sentence. So, you should seek legal advice right away. A criminal defense attorney in your town can tell you what action is best to take, and whether you should have an attorney accompany you to court to speak for you and attempt a favorable resolution of the case for you.


 A: If you're the victim of a hit and run accident, you should immediately report the accident to the police, and advise them that the driver left the scene without providing you with identification and insurance information. Ask the police to fill out a report. The report will likely be assigned a case number either immediately or within a few days.

You should also call the claims department of your insurance company as soon as possible.


 A: Yes. Depending on the circumstances, a single event may be tried in both courts. This is not considered double jeopardy.


 A: In most states, juries are instructed that merely being present at the scene of a crime, even with guilty knowledge that a crime is being committed, isn't enough to convict a person of a crime. But there are principles of criminal liability that apply to people other than the actual perpetrator of a crime. For example, under federal law there is a crime called "misprision" of a felony, which applies to a person who has actual knowledge of the commission of a felony and doesn't report it to the authorities.


 A: While the precise definition can vary from state to state, a person commits the crime of "criminal trespass" when she enters or remains on another's property without the owner's consent. You may have a defense against criminal trespass if the property was open to the public, or your conduct didn't substantially interfere with the owner's use of the property, or you immediately left the premises when requested.


 A: Fleeing or eluding police occurs when a police officer gives you a visual or audible signal to stop, whether by hand, voice, emergency light or siren, and you don't obey.

It's unlawful for a person who's either driving or in a vehicle, or not to disobey an officer's order to stop, by fleeing on foot or by any other means.


2. The criminal justice process typically begins when a police officer places a person under arrest. Discuss the following questions concerning the arrest:

1. When is a person considered to be arrested?

2. Is the use of physical restraint or handcuffs always necessary? Give the examples.

3. In which of the following circumstances can a police officer arrest a person?

- The police officer personally observes a crime

- The police officer has a reasonable belief, based on facts and circumstances, that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime.

- The police officer suspects but is not sure that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime.

- A police officer receives a report of an armed robbery that has just occurred at a liquor store, then sees a man who matches the suspect's exact description running down the street near the store.

- An arrest warrant has been issued

- The police officer has a reasonable belief, based on facts and circumstances, that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime, but he hasn’t obtained a valid warrant to arrest this person.



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