Two-Minute MBE Question: Criminal Law
Here, we discuss how to approach the following Criminal Law MBE question in two minutes. Read the question below then check out the YouTube video below for an answer explanation in less than two minutes!
Criminal Law Question:
A physician was forced to re-use the same face mask in the hospital due to a mask shortage caused by an unforeseen viral pandemic. The strap that held the mask to her face broke so she decided to repurpose her duct tape and hold her mask to her face using that.
Another doctor also had the same issue with the strap on the back of her mask breaking and was sick of tying it together repeatedly during the day. She thought that the duct tape solution was very clever and took a roll of it from the physician’s hospital bag while the physician was in a different room. The physician noticed the roll of duct tape was missing and suspected the doctor from taking it but decided not to say anything because she was happy the patients were protected from the virus.
Is the doctor guilty of larceny?
(A) No, because she can raise the defense of necessity.
(B) No, because the physician impliedly consented to the act since she did not say anything.
(C) Yes, because she intentionally permanently deprived the physician of her duct tape.
(D) Yes, unless the court determines she acted with a pure motive.
Criminal Law Video Answer Explanation:
Looking for the written answer explanation?
You can find the answer to the MBE question in the video above or the text below. Just click “SHOW ANSWER”
(C) is the correct answer. Larceny is the trespassory taking and carrying away of personal property of another with the intent to permanently deprive them thereof. Here, the doctor is guilty of larceny because she intentionally took and carried away the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive them thereof. Her motive is immaterial in this case and, as explained below, no defense she raises will be successful.
(A) is incorrect. If the defendant reasonably believes his or her criminal conduct is necessary to prevent a greater harm, necessity is a defense. Here, the doctor may argue that taking the duct tape was necessary to save patients’ lives but the facts do not state that it was the only available solution left to the doctor. Indeed, she could have continued to re-tie the back of the mask together. Further, the doctor could have simply asked the physician if the doctor could use her tape, thereby accomplishing the same objective without resorting to criminal conduct. Thus, necessity will not succeed as a defense.
(B) is incorrect. If the physician had impliedly consented to the taking of the tape, then the prima facie case for larceny would not be met as the taking would not be considered trespassory. However, in this case, the taking was trespassory. In order to negate that element, the doctor would have had to ask the physician to borrow her tape prior to taking it from her hospital bag. Here, the doctor did not ask. Just because the physician decided not to say anything does not mean that consent was given retroactively. All of the elements of larceny are still met in this case.
(D) is incorrect. A pure motive is not a defense to committing a crime. The elements of larceny are met, as explained above. Unless the doctor can raise a legal defense (which she cannot), the doctor is guilty of larceny.
Looking to prepare for the bar exam early?
Sign up for our JD Advising Early Bar Prep campaign. We go over early bar prep tips in five minutes a day! It is a great way to get ahead while practicing social distancing and we also include more two-minute MBE questions like this one!
Looking to Pass the Uniform Bar Exam?
Free or discounted resources
- A five-star UBE course (for as low as $1099.99!) that provides you with the best instruction, outlines, and questions. Preview our course for free here!
- Our new Free Bar Exam Resource Center, which includes our most popular free guides, posts, webinars, and more!
- Free popular bar exam guides (on the MBE, MEE, how to pass the bar exam, and what to do if you failed the bar exam) written by bar exam experts!
- A free Early Bar Prep Course for law students
Our most POPULAR and highly rated bar exam resources are:
- Our On Demand and Premium Bar Exam Courses
- Bar Exam Private Tutoring by bar exam experts
- MBE One-Sheets and MEE One-Sheets—rated five stars! Our customers love these supplements!
- Real MBE questions—the best practice questions available!