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Criminal Law and Procedure

LSP 235

Criminal Law and Procedure

LSP 235

Course Description

Prerequisite: ENG 111 (or OAT 151) with a minimum grade of "C", and enrollment in Legal Support Professional program or permission of instructor. Studies formal legal processes involved in criminal practice from arrest through post-trial motions, sentencing, and appeal. Describes constitutional rights of the accused and the definitions of various criminal offenses. Credit may be earned in LAS 235 or LSP 235 but not in both. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Demonstrate introductory knowledge and understanding of our constitutional form of government.

Objectives:

  • Explain and distinguish between the three branches of our constitutional form of government.
  • Define The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment as they relate to the Criminal Justice System.
  • Discuss the primary goals of the criminal justice system.
  • Define the legal doctrines associated with common law, statutes, and case decision making.

Demonstrate a basic understanding of criminal law and the general offense groups.

Objectives:

  • Explain the definition of a crime, Corpus Delicti, Mens and Actus Rea.
  • Cite examples of legal authority and its precedential nature.
  • Define the basic defenses and elements of crimes.
  • Define and discuss common law crimes.
  • Define and differentiate between crimes against persons including assault, robbery, criminal sexual conduct, homicide, domestic violence, and stalking.
  • Define and differentiate between property crimes including arson, auto theft, burglary, fraud, larceny, and malicious destruction of property.
  • Define and differentiate between contraband and regulatory crimes, including controlled substances, firearms and explosives, and alcohol regulations.
  • Identify general offense groups.
  • Identify and explain the Michigan drunk driving laws and special procedures applicable to driving offenses.

Demonstrate a basic understanding of the criminal justice process.

Objectives:

  • Explain the basic pretrial process including the initiation of a criminal complaint, police investigation, discovery, victim rights, and issuance of an arrest warrant.
  • Identify and explain the law of arrests including investigatory stops, warrantless arrests, arrests pursuant to a warrant, the definition of an arrest, and who can make an arrest and under what conditions.
  • Identify and explain the law of search and seizure including the 4th Amendment, the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy doctrine, the Exclusionary Rule, the requirements for a search warrant, and the exceptions to the warrant requirements.
  • Identify and explain the law of confessions including the requirement of voluntariness and for Walker Hearings, the Miranda decision and 5th and 6th Amendments right to counsel, custodial interrogation, and the exceptions to the Miranda requirements.
  • Identify and explain the basic rules of evidence including the types of evidence, the requirements for authentication and admissibility, hearsay and hearsay exceptions, presumptions, and the burdens of proof.
  • Identify and differentiate the various state and federal courts, the jurisdiction of each, and the stages of the criminal process in each court including the arraignment, pretrial, preliminary examination, motions, trial, sentencing, and appeal.
  • Identify and explain the law of entrapment including the objective, subjective, and hybrid tests; the defendant's burden of proof; and the court's review as a question of law.
  • Identify and explain the law of identification including the right to counsel, corporeal versus photo lineups, show up identifications, independent basis for identification, and the standard of review.

Perform writing tasks to promote the learning of points of law.

Objectives:

  • Practice critical writing skills within the subject.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of subject through extensive writings.

Use writing skills for a specific audience.

Objectives:

  • Practice writing legal documents designed for a particular audience.
  • Evaluate need and level of legal knowledge of audience and write accordingly.