Criminal Law – cja354 (3 credits)

This is an introductory course in the study of criminal law, general legal principles, and how the criminal law functions in and affects modern society. This course highlights a variety of key topics, including the concept of crime and the development of criminal law, defenses to criminal charges, and a number of specific types of crimes, including personal crimes, property crimes, public order crimes, and offenses against public morality. Legal issues affecting punishment will also be discussed, as will ways the criminal law impacts victims of crime.

This undergraduate-level course is 5 weeks. This course is available as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Criminal Law, the Concept of Crime, and Criminal Liability

  • Identify the sources, purposes and jurisdiction of criminal law.
  • Define inchoate offenses.
  • Describe the elements of crime: actus reus, mens rea, and concurrence.
  • Explain how to read citations and brief a case.
  • Describe the adversarial system and the concept of criminal liability.
  • Define accomplice liability.

Criminal Responsibility and Defenses

  • Explain the nature of and types of defenses to criminal charges.
  • Compare justification and excuse.
  • Assess the legal aspects of competency to stand trial.
  • Investigate the determination of insanity in the criminal law.

Public Order Crimes

  • Define crimes against public order, safety and national security.
  • Evaluate the criminalization of prostitution, obscenity and lewdness.
  • Analyze federal and state and asset forfeiture. anti-drug legislation.
  • Identify crimes related to drugs and alcohol.

Crime Victims and Crime Punishment

  • Define plea bargaining and intermediate sanctions.
  • Analyze forms of sentencing and their rationale.
  • Analyze the resources related to victim advocacy and witness support.
  • Explain the evolution of victims’ assistance and protection programs.
  • Evaluate the goals of sentencing and alternative sanctions.
  • Describe the Eighth Amendment and its relationship to capital punishment.

Personal, Property, and Computer Crimes

  • Define different types of homicide.
  • Define the meaning of corpus delicti.
  • Distinguish between assault, battery, and mayhem.
  • Identify sexual assault and the elements of sex crimes.
  • Define kidnapping and false imprisonment.
  • Describe computer and high-technology crimes.
  • Differentiate between robbery, burglary, and theft.

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