Criminal law is one of the most fascinating areas of legal practice. The instructor--a former major-felony prosecutor who has appeared on Court TV--gives a behind the scenes look at criminal law by examining the world of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the paralegals who work closely with them. You will examine all major areas of crime: from theft to murder, conspiracy to sexual assault. The trial of a criminal case will be dissected and explained for you. You'll also explore the various types of criminal defenses, sentencing, and appeals procedures. A variety of exercises based on the lessons will give you a hands-on experience. Each lesson will also feature A View from the Inside -- compelling information about the criminal justice system, in the words of actual people who experience it every day.
A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or
more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two
All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons
are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have
to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until
the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each
lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such,
we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final
exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work,
including the final exam.
In this first lesson, we'll lay the foundation for the course by examining the basic features of criminal law, including how this area of law differs from every other. You'll find this first look at the important aspects of the American criminal justice system very valuable!
Today, we'll begin to examine crimes against people by reviewing the facts of a real murder case. Here's your chance to visit a real crime scene and examine the body just as it was found on a chilly January morning. From there, we'll examine the basic elements of a murder case, as well as other crimes against people.
In this lesson, we'll continue our examination into crimes against people by exploring the world of assault and battery. We'll also take a close look at some of the most common myths people believe about prosecuting crimes of violence. Then we'll address the crimes of stalking and kidnapping.
How is a person accused of helping another person commit a crime sentenced? Does the driver of the getaway car receive the same sentence as the bank robber? What is a conspiracy? Today I'll answer these questions and many others. In this lesson, we'll examine the roles of principles and accessories, and how prosecutors charge gang members and others who conspire to commit a crime.
What is rape? In this lesson, we'll go behind the legal definition to use plain language to define exactly what the elements of rape are, then we'll look at how prosecutors charge sexual offenders. We'll also try to understand child molestation and the impact that these crimes have on their victims.
Today we'll explore the crimes of burglary and fraud. You'll learn not only how a person commits burglary, but also the most common techniques most burglars use. We'll also expose white-collar crime schemes, common games, and other frauds.
Drug dealers have become very sophisticated over the years. In today's lesson, you'll learn how prosecutors and police investigate, charge, and convict people who sell narcotics. We’ll examine in detail the concepts of possession of illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, crack cocaine, and other illegal substances.
What is the legal definition of bribery? In this era of corporate scandals and obstruction of justice by millionaire businesspeople, you'll need to know the basic steps to follow to bring a bribery or obstruction of justice charge.
It's time to step inside a real courtroom! Today, we'll go beyond what television presents and see how a real trial proceeds from start to finish. Do trial attorneys really scream at witnesses? Can lawyers really get away with some of the tactics we see them using on nightly television? I'll answer these questions and many others in this lesson.
When a person is on trial, what types of defenses can he or she raise? What exactly is an alibi defense? What is the definition of legal insanity? How does a defendant actually present his defense? Today we'll examine the role of different defenses, then we'll dispel some common myths about criminal defenses.
From mothers who drown their own children to men who attempt to kill the president, the insanity defense has had a long and controversial history in the United States. In this lesson, we'll step behind the headlines and examine the real details—not only about how to raise an insanity defense, but also looking at what the statistics have to say about the success of this defense.
We'll conclude the course with a look at the appeals process. How many convictions are reversed on appeal? Is the appellate process different in death penalty cases? In this last lesson, we'll examine the entire appellate process from start to finish to give you a straightforward guide to criminal appeals.
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Neal Bevans is a former Assistant District Attorney. A veteran of over 150 trials, Bevans has tried every major felony from rape, murder, and narcotics to armed robbery. One of his cases was televised nationally on Court TV. He has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia (Order of the Barrister) and has been a college instructor for over 10 years. He has also presented numerous seminars to medical professionals about the legal field, including training seminars for legal nurse consultants and sexual assault nurse examiners. In addition to practicing real estate law, he also worked as a title examiner and bought and sold real estate investment properties. An author of fiction and nonfiction material, his textbook Criminal Law and Procedure for Paralegals, was published in 2002. His second textbook, Tort Law for Legal Assistants, was published in 2003. He has also published numerous magazine articles about many aspects of the legal and medical fields, including articles focusing on developing a legal nurse consulting practice. He is also a contributing columnist to Legal Assistant Today magazine.
I am currently working as a Victim Assistance Coordinator in a DA's office, so I have been faced with many legal issues and terms. This course helped clear up some things I was uncertain on and also gave me a good grasp of some basic elements of criminal law. Thanks for the down-to-earth style of writing as well!
I learned a lot of information from this course that I will use on a daily basis at my job.
I really enjoyed this class. I learned a lot about criminal law that I did not know before. I am definitely going to take more classes about different aspects of the law. I may even think about a new career in the legal field. Thank you for such an interesting class.
I think having an instructor who has worked in the field & has real life experiences is a plus. I learn & retain more info when I visualize the situations based on real life. Mr. Bevans did a great job & I have decided to take his other course.
The best class I have ever taken. I am now looking forward to more law classes.
This course gave me a lot of information helpful to me in the work I am already doing. I plan to continue my education in this area.
This instructor was able to weave his real life experiences into the course in a very effective way. This was a very pleasant experience for my first online course. I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in criminal law. I for one will be taking the rest of the courses offered by this instructor. Thank you!!!
This was an excellent course. The material is very relevant to my Degree. The instructor was very good and the lessons were very interesting!
This was a wonderful course and the instructor knows exactly how to explain terminology linked to real life cases that helped so much in understanding the meanings and how cases are decided. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and will be recommending it to the law enforcement agencies. This instructor was excellent and I hope to see him offer more courses.
Very good course. Presented in a way you felt the instructor was in the room with you as you visualized each lesson. Good job, very professional.
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