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Federal Territorial Jurisdiction Discussion Question

Federal Territorial Jurisdiction Discussion Question

Question Description

I’m working on a criminal justice multi-part question and need guidance to help me learn.

Mary booked a flight on a US AIR airplane which was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco on Friday, February 16. Mary was a businesswoman who infrequently took airplane trips within California to attend business meetings and other work-related events. On this particular day Mary arrived at the airport in Los Angeles with plenty of time to catch the plane. Mary, being very nervous about her meeting in San Francisco, was smoking fervently the entire morning. At 12:50 p.m. the plane, loaded with passengers, raced down the runway bound for San Francisco. The stewardess informed all passengers about some safety precautions and also stated that the flight would only be 52 minutes in duration. Mary, feeling nervous and apprehensive about the meeting, made her way to the lavatory located in the rear of the plane. Since the lavatory was unoccupied, Mary went right in. While using the lavatory facilities, Mary noticed a sign which stated, “Smoking Is Prohibited On This Flight.” Mary also noticed another sign which read, “Tampering With Lavatory Smoke Alarms Is A Crime. Violators Will Be Punished.” Believing that a cigarette might calm her nerves, Mary immediately produced a cigarette from her purse and lit it. As Mary was enjoying the renewed and momentary relaxation which the nicotine gave her, the lavatory smoke alarm sounded. A chill went down Mary’s spine. Immediately thereafter, a stewardess was banging on the outside of the lavatory door demanding that Mary open it. Mary complied and was immediately arrested by the airline employee. When Mary arrived in San Francisco the stewardess led Mary to the US AIR boarding counter where two Federal Agents, working out of the San Francisco International Airport Office, handcuffed Mary and informed her that she was being charged with the violation of a federal statute which read, “It shall be a federal crime for any person to smoke any material on an airline flight when such airline has informed said person that ‘Smoking Is Prohibited On This Flight.'” As a result of the charge against her, Mary has been summoned into Federal Court, located in San Francisco, California. All of Mary’s appearances have been made in San Francisco even though Mary resides in Los Angeles, California. At Mary’s initial court appearance she argued that she could not be charged with the violation of the federal statute and be summoned into Federal Court because she did not know that what she was charged with was a violation of federal law.

3. If the judge properly holds Mary to answer the charges against her it will be because

(A) Lack of knowledge regarding federal territorial jurisdiction will not relieve one of being held to answer for a charged violation of federal statute.

(B) Lack of knowledge regarding federal territorial jurisdiction is only a defense to a specific intent crime.

(C) Mary may be properly held to answer for the charged violation in the territorial jurisdiction in which she is alleged to have committed the crime.

(D) Mary has no right to object to the territorial jurisdiction in which she is summoned to answer for the charged offense.  

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