Course Name
Criminal Law For Paralegals

Contact Hours: 24

Course Description
Legal systems exist to serve the interests of the citizenry. Laws under such systems can deal with the public and private safety and health of citizenry, the means to resolve problems among parties, certain ownership interests which the law recognizes and protects, and the legal systems of different nations. This course is designed to provide an overview of Criminal Law to the student.

For this Basic Completion course, students will contact the instructor who will guide them on all course procedures. Students may query the instructor via e-mail and voice, regarding lessons, readings and interpretation of the materials. 

This course is based on an independent study model that allows the student to work through the program in a self-directed manner. Questions and return email communication can be engaged in for clarification and guidance when necessary. 


At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the necessary elements for the prosecution of any crime.
  • Determine whether a crime has been committed based on a fact pattern, and, if so, which crime has been committed.
  • Describe the basic elements of the various common law crimes.
  • Research and apply the elements of a crime in various state or federal jurisdictions.
  • Research criminal codes and apply the elements of a crime in various state or federal jurisdictions.
  • Prepare a memorandum with regard to a question of criminal law in a hypothetical fact pattern.
  • Describe and apply the various defenses that are available under the criminal laws of different jurisdictions.
  • Apply federal and/or state sentencing guidelines (where applicable) to convictions.

Students will complete open-book multiple choice exams on each chapter of material in the course (where the course consists of 8 chapters of material). Completion of each chapter is based on achieving a score of 70% or more on tests provided.

Required Book(s)
Additional textbook required. Upon enrollment, please speak directly with the course instructor prior to purchasing the book.

  • Introduction to Criminal Law (Chapter 1); Discussion Questions 

  • Constitutional Limitations on the Definition and Punishment of Criminal Offenses (Chapter 2); Discussion Questions 

  • General Principles of Criminal Liability (Chapter 3); Discussion Questions 
  • Complicity and Vicarious Liability (Chapter 4); Discussion Questions 
  • Criminal Defenses (Chapter 5); Discussion Questionsr

  • Crimes Against Persons (Chapter 6); Discussion Questions 

  • Crimes Against Property and Habitation (Chapter 7); Discussion Questions 
  • Inchoate Crimes and Derivative Crime (Chapter 8); Discussion Questions 
  • Wrap-up