A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to 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 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Introduction to Criminal Law
This lesson will 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!
Lesson 02 - Murder by Degrees
In this lesson, you'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, you'll examine the basic elements of a murder case, as well as other crimes against people.
Lesson 03 - More Crimes Against Persons
In this lesson, you'll continue your examination into crimes against people by exploring the world of assault and battery. You'll also take a close look at some of the most common myths people believe about prosecuting crimes of violence. Then, the lesson will address the crimes of stalking and kidnapping.
Lesson 04 - Principals, Accessories, and Attempt
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? This lesson will answer those questions and many others. You'll examine the roles of principles and accessories, and how prosecutors charge gang members and others who conspire to commit a crime.
Lesson 05 - Sex Crimes
What is rape? This lesson will go behind the legal definition to use plain language to define exactly what the elements of rape are, and then you'll look at how prosecutors charge sexual offenders. You'll also examine child molestation and the impact that these crimes have on their victims.
Lesson 06 - Crimes Against Property
In this lesson, you'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. The lesson will also expose white-collar crime schemes, common games, and other frauds.
Lesson 07 - Drug Crimes
Drug dealers have become very sophisticated over the years. In this lesson, you'll learn how prosecutors and police investigate, charge, and convict people who sell narcotics. You'll then examine, in detail, the concepts of possession of illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, crack cocaine, and other illegal substances.
Lesson 08 - Crimes Against Justice
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.
Lesson 09 - The Trial
It's time to step inside a real courtroom! In this lesson, you'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 you see them using on nightly television? This lesson will answer those questions and many others.
Lesson 10 - Defenses
When a person is on trial, what types of defenses can they raise? What exactly is an alibi defense? What is the definition of legal insanity? How does a defendant actually present their defense? In this lesson, you'll examine the role of different defenses, and then the lesson will dispel some common myths about criminal defenses.
Lesson 11 - Insanity and Constitutional 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, you'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.
Lesson 12 - Sentencing and Appeal
The course will conclude 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, you'll examine the entire appellate process from start to finish with a straightforward guide on criminal appeals.