Criminal Law Case Study Analysis
On a cool, dark evening, Bruce Wayne strolls through an unfamiliar neighborhood. The
neighborhood is located in an up-and-coming part of the city, and it is dominated by once-
commercial buildings that have been turned into residential lofts. Bruce looks at a clock
tower in the distance and notices the time, which is midnight. Bruce decides that he needs
a place to warm up before it gets any colder, so he begins looking for a building where he
can spend the night.
Based on their dimly lit facades, all the buildings around Bruce appear to be commercial
buildings. In fact, they are all residential dwellings. To get some sleep, Bruce breaks into
a  covered  parking  lot  attached  to  a  particular  residential  building  that  Bruce  genuinely
believes is a commercial building.
After entering the parking lot, Bruce notices a briefcase sitting next to a car. He briefly
contemplates what he should do, and then he decides to steal the briefcase. After Bruce
takes the briefcase, security guards spot him from a hidden security camera located in
the  parking  lot.  The  guards  detain  Bruce  and  eventually  turn  him  over  to  state  law
enforcement authorities.
Bruce  is  charged  with  burglary.  In  this  jurisdiction,  burglary  is  defined  as  “recklessly
breaking and entering into the dwelling of another at nighttime with the intent to commit a
felony therein.”  The jurisdiction has adopted the Model Penal Code definitions for mens
rea. Mens rea is defined as a “guilty intent”. Larceny is a felony in this jurisdiction, and is
defined as “taking and carrying away the property of another with the purpose to deprive
the owner of the property.” Trespass is a misdemeanor in this jurisdiction, and is defined
as “knowingly entering or remaining on another's property without the owner's consent.”
The  necessity  defense  is  defined  as  follows  in  this  state:  “necessity  is  a  defense  that
permits  a  person  to  act  in  a  criminal  manner  when  an  emergency  situation,  not  of  the
person's own creation compels the person to act in a criminal manner to avoid greater
harm from occurring.” 

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