BLAW 101 Mock Trial 2 Criminal Law and Procedure

BLAW 101
Mock Trial 2
Criminal Law and Procedure
Instructions
(for ALL GROUPS)
To Submit on Canvas
Opening Statement: Names of group members, the
party you represent [Plaintiff/State of California or
Defendant], and what you want the court to do. (2
points)
Arguments/Counterarguments: Answer each of the
questions in your mock trial fact pattern by connecting
the law to the facts. The State (Plaintiff) should use
each the elements; The Defense should focus on
weakening one or more elements (4 points argument,
2 points counterargument).
Conclusion: Conclude in one sentence that the
search/confession/waiver is inadmissible
(Defendant) or is admissible (Plaintiff) (1 point). For
theft crimes/conspiracy, conclude guilty or not
guilty.
Spelling and Grammar: 1 point
BLAW 101-110 – Mock Trial 2 – Criminal Law – 1.3.21 – © D. Spitz, 2020
Mock Trial #2A: 4th Amendment
Case: State of California v. Denise Defendant
One month ago at 7:00 pm, Denise Defendant (Denise) and Connie Co-conspirator
(Connie) planned to break in through the front doors of the California Science Center.
The two of them agreed that they would steal a part of the Spaceship Control Module
from the inside of the world-famous NASA space shuttle “Endeavour.” Denise would
steal the part of the control module while dressed as a maintenance worker, and Connie
would stand guard and then drive the getaway car.
The two were successful in getting into the Science Center and in getting the piece of the
control module out of the Science Center without alerting any guards. However, in the
parking lot, Connie slipped on a banana peel and triggered the silent alarm. Within
minutes, police were on the scene and found Denise, arresting her. Connie got away with
the Spaceship Control Module and is yet to be found.
Police placed Denise in handcuffs and began to search Denise without a warrant and
without her consent. During the police’s search of Denise, they found a gun in Denise’s
pocket that she intended to use in case there were any problems with the guards at the
Science Center. The gun was later found to be registered to Connie.
The State of California wants to charge Denise with a number of crimes, including
attempted burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and possession of a firearm. Before
they do so, Denise’s lawyer has brought a 4th Amendment challenge against the State,
alleging that Denise’s rights were violated and that the police conducted an
unconstitutional search without first having a warrant. [Note: Do not discuss burglary,
conspiracy or possession of a firearm in this trial, and focus on the 4th amendment only.]
The State of California believes that although police did not have a warrant, they acted
lawfully and conducted a legal search.
Both the State of California (who represent the police) and Denise’s attorney should
analyze according to the following questions and argue each of the following for their
side:
In your mock trial writeup, answer the following questions in your analysis and
counterarguments sections: Was there a “search” as defined by the 4th amendment? Did
the police have a warrant or probable cause to search? If there was no warrant, is there an
exception to the warrant requirement? Does Denise have a “reasonable expectation of
privacy” (REOP)?
BLAW 101-110 – Mock Trial 2 – Criminal Law – 1.3.21 – © D. Spitz, 2020
Law Library Case 2A: State of California v. Denise Defendant
The 4th Amendment to the Constitution protects “The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by
Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons
or things to be seized.”
The key issue to be decided at trial is whether Denise’s search was reasonable under the
circumstances. The State of California (Plaintiff) will argue that the search was
reasonable; Denise Defendant (Defendant) will argue it was not. Under the 4th
amendment, unreasonable searches, seizures and arrests are invalid, whereas reasonable
searches are permitted.
1) Was there a “search”, as defined by the 4th amendment?
Rule: A search exists “when the police suspect a crime has been committed and will look
through a person’s property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime.” This
search can extend to one’s body, personal property, or areas in close proximity to the
person being searched.
2) Did the police have a warrant or probable cause to search?
Rule: A valid warrant requires (1) probable cause that evidence will be found, (2) that
specifies of what items and places are being searched, and (3) that the warrant must be
issued by a neutral magistrate. Even when police have a valid warrant to search
someone or something, a search can exceed the scope of that warrant.
3) If there was no warrant, is there an exception to the warrant requirement?
Rule: The police do not require a warrant if they have an exception: (1) A defendant can
consent to a search, (2) police can stop and frisk if they believe criminal activity is
occurring, (3) exigent circumstances – if police believe that evidence is about to be
destroyed or lost, (4) inventory searches of an automobile, (5) SILA – a person can be
searched incident to a lawful arrest, (6) if the object was in the plain view of the police.
Overall, the police need to see a misdemeanor or a felony taking place, a lawful arrest,
and a search concurrent to (in the same time proximity as) the arrest. The evidence must
also be within the immediate space of the Defendant. If no warrant or exception exists,
the exclusionary rule applies, and all evidence obtained illegally is inadmissible at trial.
4) Does Denise have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” (REOP)?
This is a subjective standard and depends on the facts of the case. The State will argue
there is no or a low REOP; the Defendant will argue Denise had a high REOP.
BLAW 101-110 – Mock Trial 2 – Criminal Law – 1.3.21 – © D. Spitz, 2020
Mock Trial #2B: Theft/Conspiracy
Case: State of California v. Denise Defendant
One month ago at 7:00 pm, Denise Defendant (Denise) and Connie Co-conspirator
(Connie) planned to break in through the front doors of the California Science
Center. The two of them agreed that they would steal a part of the Spaceship
Control Module from the inside of the world-famous NASA space shuttle
“Endeavour.” Denise would steal the part of the control module while dressed as a
maintenance worker, and Connie would stand guard and then drive the getaway
car.
The two were successful in getting into the Science Center, and in getting the piece
of the control module out of the Science Center without alerting any guards.
However, in the parking lot, Connie slipped on a banana peel and triggered the
silent alarm. Within minutes, police were on the scene and found Denise alone,
arresting her.
While in handcuffs, Denise yelled out, “It wasn’t just me! Connie’s the one that
told me to get the piece anyways! I tried to tell her that this whole idea of breaking
in wouldn’t work and that we would get caught, but she refused to let me leave!
And now she’s driving down Pico, just like we agreed!” Police catch up to Connie
5 miles down the road and arrest her too. In Connie’s car, the police found the
piece of the control module, along with a gun sitting on the passenger seat as well
as mini-models of the piece that she planned to sell.
At Denise’s trial, the State of California charges Denise with larceny, conspiracy
and solicitation to commit larceny with Connie, and may want to charge Denise
with another theft crime if they can prove she was guilty. The judge has already
ruled that the search was legal, so do not make arguments about the 4th
Amendment. Both the State of California and Denise’s attorney should analyze
according to the following questions and argue each of the following for their side:
In your mock trial writeup, answer the following questions in your analysis and
counterarguments sections: (1) Did Denise commit larceny? (2) Is Denise guilty of
a conspiracy and solicitation with Connie? (3) Is Denise guilty of any other theft
crimes?
BLAW 101-110 – Mock Trial 2 – Criminal Law – 1.3.21 – © D. Spitz, 2020
Law Library Case 2B: State of California v. Denise Defendant
The key issues in Case 2B are (1) whether Denise is guilty of any theft crimes; and
(2) whether Denise is guilty of entering into a conspiracy. All theft crimes are specific
intent crimes, meaning that the Defendant must have specifically intended to commit the
act which he or she is accused of doing.
The State of California (Plaintiff) will argue that Denise is guilty of a theft crime (or
crimes) and should be sentenced to serve jail time; Denise Defendant (Defendant) will
argue Denise is innocent, or that the State has failed to prove each crime beyond a
reasonable doubt. To assist each side in their arguments, please remember that EACH
ELEMENT needs to be proven by the prosecution. The Defense should focus on
weakening one or more elements of each crime.
1) Did Denise commit Larceny?
Larceny is (1) the trespassory [no right to use the property] (2) taking and carrying
away [physically moving the property] (3) of the property [personal property] (4) of
another [no ownership] (5) with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that
property [must intend to commit that specific crime].
2) Is Denise guilty of a Conspiracy and Solicitation?
Conspiracy is (1) an agreement (2) between two or more people (3) who intend to agree
to commit a crime (4) and actually commit an “overt act” in furtherance of the
conspiracy (ex: an overt act must be more than just planning to commit a crime, and has
to be a “voluntary step” towards committing the crime).
A Co-Conspirator can also be guilty for any other crimes that are related to the
conspiracy under the merger doctrine (i.e. a robbery where someone is murdered would
include both crimes of robbery and murder). A co-conspirator can use the defense that
they withdrew from the conspiracy and communicated their withdrawal to all coconspirators.
Solicitation is (1) the encouraging, bribing, requesting or commanding that a person (2)
commit a crime (3) with the intent that the person solicited actually commit that crime. A
solicitation does not need to be verbalized (spoken) in order to be considered solicitation.
3) Is Denise guilty of any other theft crimes?
Burglary is the breaking and entering of a dwelling at night time with the intent to
commit a felony therein. Embezzlement is the intentional conversion of the property of
another by someone who is already in lawful possession of the property. Fraud is a false
statement of fact which causes a victim to pass title of the property to Defendant. If
charged with a theft crime, a Defendant can use the mistake of fact defense if it applies.
BLAW 101-110 – Mock Trial 2 – Criminal Law – 1.3.21 – © D. Spitz, 2020
Mock Trial #2C: 5th and 6th Amendment
Case: State of California v. Denise Defendant
One month ago at 7:00 pm, Denise Defendant (Denise) and Connie Co-conspirator
(Connie) planned to break in through the front doors of the California Science Center.
The two of them agreed that they would steal a part of the Spaceship Control Module
from the inside of the world-famous NASA space shuttle “Endeavour.” Denise would
steal the part of the control module while dressed as a maintenance worker, and Connie
would stand guard and then drive the getaway car.
The two were successful in getting into the Science Center, and in getting the piece of the
control module out of the Science Center without alerting any guards. However, in the
parking lot, Connie slipped on a banana peel, and triggered the silent alarm. Within
minutes, police were on the scene, and found Denise, arresting her. Connie got away
with the Spaceship control module and is yet to be found.
While in handcuffs, Denise said, “I need that lawyer of mine to get me out of