Elements of Crime – Mens Rea & Actus Rea

Elements of Crime - Mens Rea & Actus Rea

Crime is the only word without some elements. These elements are very necessary to consider the act as a crime. One important element is Human Beings. Without the Human being, the act is not considered a crime because only human being who commits a crime, no other things or wild animals or birds can commit the crime.

Elements of Crimes:-

  1. Human Being
  2. Mens rea
  3. Actus rea
  4. Injury

1. Human Being:-

The first and foremost element of the crime is that the injury must be caused by a human being. Only a human can be made legally bound to act in a judicially appropriate way as laws are only applicable to humans.

2.Mens Rea:-

Mens rea is the most important element to prove a crime has taken place. It means it was the intention of the wrongdoer to purposely/knowing/willing and with proper planning to cause harm to a person, animal, or property.

3. Actus reus:- (Action)

It is the guilty Act that follows the guilty intention. An act will only be called a crime if both elements are present. The guilty intention of a person leads them to act in accordance with it and hence it turns into a crime.

4. Injury:-

For a particular crime to take place it is necessary for the injury to occur. After having the guilty mind and doing the guilty act if the injury does not occur then that crime is not considered as committed.

Causes of Crime:-

Most causes of crime are well documented and researched. Crime is primarily the outcome of multiple adverse social, economic, cultural, and family conditions. To prevent crime it is important to have an understanding of its roots. There are complex and interrelated, but can be summarized in three main categories:

  • Economic Factors/Poverty
  • Social Environment
  • Family Strictures

Crime can be Cognizable offences or Non-cognizable offences:-

Cognizable & Non-cognizable offence

                                                                          Cognizable & non-cognizable offence

Non-Cognizable Offence:-

In a non-cognizable offence, the police can not arrest a person without orders of the court i.e. Without a court warrant and can investigate the case only on the express direction of the court to that effect.In a non-cognizable offence, police can not arrest the accused without the court order, but in a cognizable offence, a police officer can arrest without any court orders.

Cognizable Offence:-

In a cognizable offence, the police can take cognizable of the offence on its own. It need not wait for the court as the law envisages that in such offences permission of the court to the Police to investigate the crime implicit.



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