cja373 | undergraduate

Criminal Court Systems

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This course is an overview of American court history, including the development of state and federal courts. Court administration, the roles of professional and non-professional courtroom participants, and stages in the process are discussed.

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

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 5

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    Legal Professionals

    • Discuss the problem of "delay" and its effects on the functions of the court.
    • Define the role of the prosecutor.
    • Compare and contrast state and federal prosecutions.
    • Discuss the work-related functions of the prosecutor.
    • Understand the role of the defense attorney.
    • Understand the rules and procedures available for criticism of judicial performance.
    • Discuss the benefits and frustrations of the position of the judge.
    • Discuss the work-related functions of the judge.
    • Discuss the inner workings of the courthouse and identify the people who work there.
    • Understand the right to counsel and the obligations of defense counsel.
    • Discuss the work-related functions of the defense attorney.


    • Understand sentencing procedures.
    • Discuss the abolition of plea bargaining.
    • Understand theory underlying sentencing choices.
    • Discuss the procedures contesting confessions, searches, and seizures.
    • Discuss the constitutional right to trial by jury.
    • Understand plea bargaining procedures.
    • Understand jury selection procedures.
    • Identify and understand trial procedures.

    Defendants, Victims and Witnesses

    • Understand the characteristics of defendants.
    • Understand the court process through the eyes of victims and witnesses.
    • Understand the characteristics of victims.
    • Discuss the Victims' Rights Movement and programs to assist victims and witnesses.

    Appellate Courts

    • Understand appellate court procedures.
    • Compare and contrast appeals and post conviction reviews.
    • Discuss the expansion and contraction of post-conviction remedies and procedures.

    Pre-trial Proceedings

    • Discuss theories of case attrition.
    • Discuss bail reform.
    • Understand the process of bail setting.
    • Discuss the effect of arrests on the court process.
    • Understand the initial appearance and charging process.
    • Understand the arraignment.
    • Understand the rules regarding disclosure of evidence.
    • Discuss the procedures contesting confessions, searches and seizures.
    • Compare and contrast the preliminary hearing and grand jury procedures.

    Juvenile Courts

    • Understand Juvenile Court Procedure.
    • Compare and contrast juvenile and adult courts.
    • Understand Juvenile Court jurisdiction.
    • Identify Juvenile Courtroom Work Group.

    Lower Courts

    • Identify scope and role of lower courts.
    • Discuss problems of lower courts.

    The Legal System

    • Identify the rights of the accused.
    • Differentiate between civil and criminal law.
    • Discuss caseloads of federal courts.
    • Discuss caseloads of state courts.
    • Compare and contrast federal and state courts and their organizational structure.
    • Understand the basis for the law.
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    While widely available, not all programs are available in all locations or in both online and on-campus formats. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.

    Transferability of credit is at the discretion of the receiving institution. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm whether or not credits earned at University of Phoenix will be accepted by another institution of the student’s choice.