Criminal Justice & Law

Criminal Law & Procedure

This course deals with both substantive criminal law and the legal procedures that govern its enforcement in order to safeguard individual liberties.  Numerous crimes such as homicide, theft, and conspiracy make up state and federal penal statutes by which the state prosecutes individuals for actions we’ve collectively decided are not acceptable to civil society.  Likewise, Criminal Law also addresses the various defenses available to individuals accused of committing such crimes such as self-defense and insanity and the way in which these defenses can be applied.  At the core of criminal law, however, is the interpretation of a criminal statute ensuring that an individual cannot be convicted of a crime unless they are guilty of every element included in the statute.  To ensure these prosecutions and enforcement are carried out in a way that does not threaten our individual liberties, laws of Criminal Procedure explores the interface between the criminal justice system and the United States Constitution.  Criminal Procedure examines key provisions of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments as they apply to police investigation and interrogation as well as to the circumstances under which defendants are prosecuted.

This course provides the student with the basic principles and history of American criminal law, the elements of specific crimes, the procedures of the criminal justice process, and the constitutional rights of the accused.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Examine the criminal law judicial system
  • Explain the criminal trial process
  • Relate criminal law, criminal procedure, and the United States Constitution
  • Classify criminal offenses
  • Analyze crimes against the person
  • Analyze crimes against property
  • Analyze crimes against security
  • Analyze crimes against the state
  • Analyze social crimes
  • Create defense scenarios
  • Analyze the ethical issues raised in the criminal justice process
  • Examine the constitutional rights of the accused before arrest
  • Examine the constitutional rights of the accused after arrest
  • Examine the constitutional rights of the accused at trial
  • Examine the constitutional rights of a convict
  • Assess criminal law and procedure

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