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What are “elements of crimes”?

Elements of crimes are like ingredients in a recipe. If you are going to bake a cake, you have to have certain ingredients. You have to have flour, sugar, salt, etc.  If you are missing an ingredient, the final product will taste like . . . well, it won’t be tasty.

Take for example the crime of battery.  In order to prove that a battery occurred, the government has to prove (1) that there was a touching, and (2) that the touching was unwanted.  If the government proves that someone was hit, and did not want to be hit, then it has proved the elements of the crime.  If it proves only that a hit was threatened, but not actually done, then there is no battery (arguably, there is an assault).

Elements of crimes are taken from the statutes that prohibit certain acts.  Then the Florida Supreme Court fashions jury instructions that list the elements.  In Federal court, its done by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The process is the same; the court looks at the statue and figures out what has to be proved. That is then put in written form to be read to juries.

Any good trial lawyer starts with the elements (jury instructions). At Bodiford Law, no matter how many cases we have done, we always look at the law.  Joe BodifordJoe Bodiford is an expert in criminal law, but he always goes to the books.  Making sure the government has its act together is what we do.  If we find that there are elements of crimes that are missing, we have a case!

Call us to discuss the elements of crimes alleged against you

Contact Bodiford Law today to discuss your case. When we meet, we will talk about elements of crimes.  You will know what the government has to prove, and how we will defend you as Tallahassee criminal defense lawyers.