Course: Criminal Law
In the criminal law context, asportation refers to the act of moving an object or person from one place to another.
Asportation is a critical concept in the field of criminal law; it refers to the act of moving an object or person from one place to another. The term is often used in cases involving theft, kidnapping, or other crimes in which the movement of an object or person is a key element of the offense.
In cases involving theft, asportation is an essential element of the crime, as the defendant must have moved the stolen property in order to be convicted. This movement can be as simple as taking a wallet from one pocket to another or carrying stolen goods from a store to a car. Even a small amount of movement is sufficient to establish asportation as long as the movement is intentional and done with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.
Similarly, in cases involving kidnapping or unlawful restraint, asportation is a critical element of the crime. The prosecutor must show that the defendant moved the victim from one place to another or that the defendant intended to do so in order to establish the crime. The movement of the victim can be as simple as forcing them to walk from one room to another or as complex as transporting them across state lines.
Asportation is an important element of these crimes because it distinguishes them from other offenses. For example, possession of stolen property is a separate offense from theft, as it does not involve the movement of the property. Likewise, false imprisonment is a separate offense from kidnapping, as it does not involve the movement of the victim.
The concept of asportation is also important in determining the severity of a criminal offense. For example, in cases involving theft, the degree of movement involved can impact the severity of the offense. A theft involving a small amount of movement, such as taking a wallet from one pocket to another, may be considered a lesser offense than a theft involving significant movement, such as stealing a car.
[ Glossary ]
Last Modified: 05/04/2023