Criminal Law

(6 reviews)


Pub Date: 2015

ISBN 13:

Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing

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Reviewed by Ronald Den Otter, Associate Professor, California Polytechnic State University, on 7/16/2014.

For a text aimed at undergraduates, very comprehensive; it covers all of the topics in criminal law that ought to be covered.… read more



Reviewed by Matthew Kane, Adjunct Professor, University of Oklahoma, on 1/13/2015.

The author’s work itself is very strong. The book is topically sound, covering the appropriate subjects for an introduction to criminal law. … read more



Reviewed by Ann Su, Part-time Instructor, Portland Community College, on 1/8/2016.

This is an excellent introductory text for undergraduates.The textbook does a good job of introducing the basic legal concepts of criminal law, but … read more



Reviewed by Caoimhin OFearghail, Program Coordinator, Lane Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This text covers all of the basic concepts found in other traditional criminal law survey texts with the exception of an instructional overview on … read more



Reviewed by Shana Mell, Criminal Justice Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, on 2/9/2017.

Criminal law textbooks require a number of specific topics in order to meet the expectations of the course. This textbook contains those essential … read more



Reviewed by Christina Mancini, Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, on 4/12/2017.

The text appears comprehensive but the lack of a Table of Contents page makes it difficult to assess at first glance the scope of the work.… read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Chapter 2: The Legal System in the United States
  • Chapter 3: Constitutional Protections
  • Chapter 4: The Elements of a Crime
  • Chapter 5: Criminal Defenses, Part 1
  • Chapter 6: Criminal Defenses, Part 2
  • Chapter 7: Parties to Crime
  • Chapter 8: Inchoate Offenses
  • Chapter 9: Criminal Homicide
  • Chapter 10: Sex Offenses and Crimes Involving Force, Fear, and Physical Restraint
  • Chapter 11: Crimes against Property
  • Chapter 12: Crimes against the Public
  • Chapter 13: Crimes against the Government
  • Chapter 14: Appendix A: Case Listings

About the Book

Criminal Law is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.

Criminal Law uses a two-step process to augment learning, called the applied approach. First, after building a strong foundation from scratch, Criminal Law introduces you to crimes and defenses that have been broken down into separate components. It is so much easier to memorize and comprehend the subject matter when it is simplified this way. However, becoming proficient in the law takes more than just memorization. You must be trained to take the laws you have studied and apply them to various fact patterns. Most students are expected to do this automatically, but application must be seen, experienced, and practiced before it comes naturally. Thus the second step of the applied approach is reviewing examples of the application of law to facts after dissecting and analyzing each legal concept. Some of the examples come from cases, and some are purely fictional. All the examples are memorable, even quirky, so they will stick in your mind and be available when you need them the most (like during an exam). After a few chapters, you will notice that you no longer obsess over an explanation that doesn’t completely make sense the first time you read it—you will just skip to the example. The examples clarify the principles for you, lightening the workload significantly.

About the Contributors


Unnamed Author received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of California at Davis in 1985 and her juris doctorate degree from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco in 1990. Unnamed Author has taught at the community college, four-year, and graduate levels since 1992. Currently, she is a tenured faculty member in Administration of Justice at Hartnell College, a California community college. She is also an attorney and licensed member of the California State Bar. Unnamed Author teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedures, Criminal Evidence, Constitutional Law, and Legal Environment of Business.

Throughout her teaching career, Unnamed Author has embraced innovation, which led her to develop the only online Degree and Certificate program at Hartnell College, as well as the only accelerated (three-semester) online degree program in Administration of Justice. Her dedication to students helped her win both campus-wide and external awards, including the Ercia Harden Teaching Excellence Award in 2006. Unnamed Author continues to pursue her commitment to student success and hopes to inspire many more students to pursue a career in law, criminal justice, or paralegal.