Classically, the evidence of committed crime requires the act which caused the damage as well as the intention of the person who committed this act. Nevertheless, there are liability crimes which do not require criminal’s intention to harm others. Sometimes crimes can be committed by omissions which happen if people fail to perform their duties of care. In this respect, it is important to make a difference between situations in which subject’s behavior is regarded as omission and cases when individuals have no legal duty of care.
Crimes committed by omission need three elements to be present. They are a duty of care, a breach of this duty, and harm is done to the victim. There are four common types of duties a neglect of which can result in liability by omission – special relationships, assumption of care, contractual duty, and duty to remedy a dangerous situation.
Special relationships are the relations between close family members. In case if parental neglect has lethal consequences, both parents will be convicted of murder, not manslaughter. Assumption of care is similar to special relationships, nevertheless, the criminal is not a family. Here belong cases when anyone takes responsibility to take care of another person. If caregivers fail to perform their duties and the victim dies, they will be convicted either of murder or manslaughter (depending on their state of mental health).
Contractual duties are inherent to people who have to care about others because of their job. Therefore, omissions liability happens when people are killed because of the professional neglect. Duty to remedy a dangerous situation obliges a person to cover for damage which may threaten the life of other people (like sleeping with the lit cigarette).