Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:
1. Identify the three primary sources on which the law is
based, including the concept of a Social Contract, English
Common Law, and United States and California Constitutions.
2. Distinguish between the letter of the law and the spirit of the
3. Differentiate between a civil and criminal matter.
4. Distinguish between substantive law and procedural law.
5. Recall the statutory definition of a crime.
6. Classify list the possible punishments under the laws of
7. Explain the concept of corpus delicti.
8. Recognize the basic elements common to all crimes.
9. Recognize and list the basic required elements of an attempt
to commit a crime.
10. Categorize the three classes of crimes as felony,
misdemeanor, and infraction and parties to a crime as they
relate to criminal codes.
11. Analyze the categories of persons considered legally
incapable of committing a crime.
12. Identify the defenses against criminal liability.
13. List the elements of Part I (crimes against persons) and Part
II (crimes against property) crimes.
I. Origins of the law
A. Concept of the social contract
B. English Common Law
C. Development of a constitution
D. Branches of government
E. United States and California Constitution
II. Current law
A. Constitutional law and the Bill of Rights
B. Tenth Amendment provisions
C. Statutory law
D. Ex post facto
G. Case law and Stare Decisis
H. Judicial law
III. Distinctions in the law
A. Letter of the Law vs. Spirit of the Law
B. Purpose of Criminal and Civil Law
C. Interpretation of the law
D. Criminal law (crimes)
E. Civil law (non-criminal violations)
F. Purpose of civil law
G. Tort by omission
H. Civil actions by crime victims
I. Substantive law
J. Procedural law
K. Due process
IV. Criminal Law
A. Definition of a crime
B. Mala en se vs. mala prohibita
C. Crimes without victims
E. Persons liable for punishment
F. Elements of a crime
1. Basic elements to every crime
2. Specific crime elements
G. Attempt to commit a crime
1. Specific attempted crimes in penal code
2. Attempted crimes not covered in penal code
1. General intent
2. Specific intent
3. Transferred intent
I. Criminal negligence
J. Penal Code Section 15
K. Persons liable for punishment
V. Criminal prosecution
A. Classification of crimes
C. Aiding and abetting
E. Old accessory law
G. Feigned accomplice
VI. Persons legally incapable of committing a crime
A. Children under the age of 14 years
B. Lack of mental capacity
C. Ignorance or mistake
D. Unconscious act
E. Misfortune or accident
F. Defense of others
G. Threat or menace
H. Double jeopardy
VII. Defenses against criminal liability
B. Statute of limitations
C. Immunity against self-incrimination
D. Diplomatic immunity
F. Justifiable use of force (self-defense)
G. Temporary insanity
D. Three Strikes
E. Special circumstances
X. Common Crimes
B. Involuntary Manslaughter
C. Voluntary Manslaughter
D. Vehicular Manslaughter
G. Grand Theft
H. Aggravated Assault
I. Assault with a deadly weapon
L. Aggravated mayhem
M. Spousal injury
XI. Crimes against/within penal institutions
A. Control of contraband
B. Assaults against staff
XII. Crimes by staff
A. Assaults on inmates
B. Introduction of contraband
C. Undue familiarity/over familiarity
D. Official acts
Chamlin, Robert and Richard Evans, CRIMINAL LAW FOR PEACE OFFICERS,
Prentice Hall, current edition.
Hunt, Donald D. and Devalis Rutledge, CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL LAW CONCEPTS,
Burgess International Group, Edina, Minnesota, current edition.
Law Tech, California Criminal Law and Evidence, current edition.