Ch 10: Criminal Law in the U.S.: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The Criminal Law in the U.S. chapter of this Intro to Criminal Justice Help and Review course is the simplest way to master an understanding of criminal law in the U.S. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of criminal law in the U.S.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering introductory criminal justice material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to learn introductory criminal justice. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who have fallen behind in understanding criminal law in the U.S.
  • Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning about criminal justice (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who need an efficient way to learn about criminal law in the U.S.
  • Students who struggle to understand their teachers
  • Students who attend schools without extra criminal justice learning resources

How it works:

  • Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
  • Press play and watch the video lesson.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the Criminal Law in the U.S. chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Criminal Law in the U.S. chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any criminal law question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

In this chapter, you'll learn the answer to questions including:

  • How did the American law system get its start?
  • What is the nature and purpose of criminal law?
  • How is public law different from private law?
  • How do criminal and civil law differ?
  • What are key differences between substantive and procedural law?

44 Lessons in Chapter 10: Criminal Law in the U.S.: Help and Review
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
American Law: History & Origins from English Common Law

1. American Law: History & Origins from English Common Law

Our modern American law system is based on centuries of English principles regarding right and wrong. This English common law system combines with U.S. case decisions and statutes to form what we know as law. This lesson examines the origins and definitions associated with the American law system.

What Is the Rule of Law? - Definition & Principle

2. What Is the Rule of Law? - Definition & Principle

Rule of law takes on several meanings. On one hand, it means that no person or government is above the law. In another, it means that no government or its officials can enforce laws that are unfair or unjust.

Public Law vs. Private Law: Definitions and Differences

3. Public Law vs. Private Law: Definitions and Differences

The simple difference between public and private law is in those that each affects. Public law affects society as a whole, while private law affects individuals, families, businesses and small groups.

Criminal Law vs. Civil Law: Definitions and Differences

4. Criminal Law vs. Civil Law: Definitions and Differences

There are two main classifications of law. Criminal laws regulate crimes, or wrongs committed against the government. Civil laws regulate disputes between private parties. This lesson explains the main differences between criminal and civil law.

Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law: Definitions and Differences

5. Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law: Definitions and Differences

Substantive law and procedural law work together to ensure that in a criminal or civil case, the appropriate laws are applied and the proper procedures are followed to bring a case to trial. In this lesson, we'll discuss the differences between the two and how they relate to the legal system as a whole.

Concurrence: Legal Definition & Exceptions

6. Concurrence: Legal Definition & Exceptions

Concurrence in the law is the requirement that a guilty mental state coincide with a guilty act. Learn about the general elements of a crime and the theory of concurrence as it relates to criminal law.

Restraining Order: Definition & Process

7. Restraining Order: Definition & Process

A restraining order, sometimes known as a protection order, is designed to make it illegal for an individual to make contact with another person or persons. It is most often used in cases of domestic dispute, such as domestic violence or divorce.

Indictable Offense: Definition & Examples

8. Indictable Offense: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we will learn about the meaning of an indictable offense. We will also review examples of indictable offenses and consider possible penalties for someone convicted of this type of offense.

Intoxication & Law: Definition & Overview

9. Intoxication & Law: Definition & Overview

Intoxication is a legal defense that may be used to prove that a criminal defendant lacked the required guilty mental state to be convicted of a crime. This lesson provides a general definition of intoxication and an introduction to how the defense is used.

Banishment: Definition & Laws

10. Banishment: Definition & Laws

Banishment is a form of punishment that exiles a criminal defendant from a city, county, or state. In this lesson, you will be introduced to the historic concept of banishment and explore its modern application.

Currency Transaction Report: Rules

11. Currency Transaction Report: Rules

In this lesson we will review the requirements surrounding Currency Transaction Reports. We will also examine the exceptions to the rule and show how to avoid accidentally committing a crime involving these reports.

Reasonable Force in Law: Definition & Concepts

12. Reasonable Force in Law: Definition & Concepts

Reasonable force is used to prove that a person charged with a crime or facing civil liability was acting in self-defense. This lesson will introduce you to the concept of reasonable force through definitions and examples.

Codified Law: Definition & History

13. Codified Law: Definition & History

Codified law refers to the rules of a society that have been collected and recorded for the purpose of establishing civil order. In this lesson, you will be introduced to the process of codification, as well as its history and modern application.

Prior Restraint in Law: Definition & Exceptions

14. Prior Restraint in Law: Definition & Exceptions

Prior restraint is a form of unconstitutional government censorship occurring before the speech is made. This lesson provides an introduction to prior restraint and illustrates some of the ways in which the government censors expression.

Bail Reform Act of 1984

15. Bail Reform Act of 1984

The Bail Reform Act of 1984, which clarified and replaced certain provisions of the Bail Reform Act of 1966, identifies what a judge must consider when determining conditions of pretrial release.

Nolle Prosequi: Definition & Meaning

16. Nolle Prosequi: Definition & Meaning

Nolle prosequi is a legal term and statement made in court and reflected upon in court records whereby the plaintiff or prosecutor wishes not to proceed any further in a suit or action. This lesson provides an overview of the definition, meaning, and legal implications of nolle prosequi.

Vehicular Homicide in Law: Definition, Sentence & Statistics

17. Vehicular Homicide in Law: Definition, Sentence & Statistics

In this lesson, we'll define vehicular homicide, examine how criminal sentences can vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another, and look at some national vehicular homicide statistics.

Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988

18. Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 was created as part of the Federal government's 'War on Drugs.' It sought to increase penalties for those who were involved in the sale and use of illegal narcotics.

Self-Defense: Definition & Laws

19. Self-Defense: Definition & Laws

Self-defense, with respect to criminal law, involves the justified use of force to protect oneself from harm. Find out in this lesson when, how, and where one can defend oneself under the law.

Proximate Cause: Definition, Examples & Criminology

20. Proximate Cause: Definition, Examples & Criminology

Proximate cause is a legal concept that relates to the connection between an injury and the event that caused the injury. This lesson discusses the basic definition of proximate cause and provides some examples of the concept.

Lex Talionis: Definition & History

21. Lex Talionis: Definition & History

''Lex talionis'' is a legal concept of retribution. In this lesson, we will define the concept, understand some of the historical context, and give some modern examples.

What is a Statute? - Definition & Laws

22. What is a Statute? - Definition & Laws

What is a statute? Where does a statute come from, and how does it intersect with other types of laws, such as constitutions and case law? Find out the basics about statutes in this lesson.

What is a Conspiracy in Law? - Definition, Meaning & Examples

23. What is a Conspiracy in Law? - Definition, Meaning & Examples

What does it take for a plot among people to become the crime of conspiracy? There are four elements that must be met. Check out this lesson to learn the basics of criminal conspiracy.

Mitigating Circumstances in Law: Definition, Meaning & Examples

24. Mitigating Circumstances in Law: Definition, Meaning & Examples

Mitigating circumstances are factors in the commission of a crime that lessen or reduce its moral and legal consequences. These factors are weighed during sentencing against aggravating factors that may increase the penalty for a crime.

Criminal Procedure Rules: Definition, Laws & Examples

25. Criminal Procedure Rules: Definition, Laws & Examples

In this lesson, you will be introduced to rules of criminal procedure. This lesson also covers the administration of criminal justice and provides examples of the application of the laws of criminal procedure.

Stop and Frisk: Law, Statistics and Cases

26. Stop and Frisk: Law, Statistics and Cases

This lesson will discuss stop and frisk laws. We will review a landmark case and statistics about stop and frisk. At the end of the lesson, there will be a quiz to test your knowledge.

Strict Liability: Definition, Crimes & Examples

27. Strict Liability: Definition, Crimes & Examples

This lesson will teach you what constitutes a strict liability crime. Review the definition of strict liability and examine the various types of strict liability crimes. Then, look at some examples to gain a better understanding of this type of crime.

Strict Scrutiny: Definition & Test

28. Strict Scrutiny: Definition & Test

After you finish this lesson, you will have an understanding of what constitutes strict scrutiny. Moreover, you will review the strict scrutiny test and gain a further understanding.

Substantive Criminal Law: Definition & Development

29. Substantive Criminal Law: Definition & Development

Substantive criminal law is interpreted through a body of rules that dictate what a crime is and how punishment for a crime is administered. Learn more about it in this lesson.

The Castle Doctrine: Definition, Law & Cases

30. The Castle Doctrine: Definition, Law & Cases

This lesson discusses the concept known as the Castle Doctrine. You will learn what the Castle Doctrine is, get an overview of the Castle Doctrine in different states and review some controversial cases that have resulted from it.

The Color of Law: Definition, Violations & the Deprivation of Rights

31. The Color of Law: Definition, Violations & the Deprivation of Rights

Find out who the color of law applies to and how it protects rights covered in the US Constitution. Get examples of violations and learn about real cases where rights have been deprived under the color of law, then take a quiz to test your knowledge.

What Is a Polygraph Test? - History, Reliability & Accuracy

32. What Is a Polygraph Test? - History, Reliability & Accuracy

In this lesson, you'll learn what a polygraph test is and go over a brief history of the polygraph test. You'll also briefly review the reliability of the test and discover how accurate it is determined to be by the courts.

What Is a Warrant? - Definition & Examples

33. What Is a Warrant? - Definition & Examples

This lesson will teach you about warrants. Initially, we'll learn what constitutes a warrant and learn what an arrest warrant and a search warrant are, including their basic differences. Then we'll review some examples of each one.

What is Adjudication? - Definition, Process & Services

34. What is Adjudication? - Definition, Process & Services

Learn what constitutes adjudication. Review the definition of adjudication. Examine the adjudication process and review the services available for an adjudication. Then test your knowledge with a quiz!

What Is Administrative Law? - Definition & Examples

35. What Is Administrative Law? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you will learn about administrative law. After completing the lesson, you will understand what constitutes administrative law, how administrative law works, and some examples of administrative law proceedings.

What is an Indictment? - Definition, Process & Example

36. What is an Indictment? - Definition, Process & Example

After you finish this lesson, you will understand what an indictment is and what the process is for an indictment to be issued. In addition, you will review an indictment example.

What is an Injunction? - Definition, Types, Process & Example

37. What is an Injunction? - Definition, Types, Process & Example

After completing this lesson, you will know what constitutes an injunction. Additionally, you will understand the different kinds of injunctions, as well as the general requirements and procedures for obtaining an injunction. Finally, you will review an example of this legal process.

What Is Community Policing? - Definition, History & Strategies

38. What Is Community Policing? - Definition, History & Strategies

After you complete this lesson, you should know more about how the method of community policing works. Moreover, you should understand the history and the strategies involved in the philosophy of community policing.

What Is Criminal Justice? - Definition, Fields & Theories

39. What Is Criminal Justice? - Definition, Fields & Theories

Learn what constitutes criminal justice. Review the definition of criminal justice, as well as its various fields. Finally, examine criminal justice theories.

What is Criminal Law? - Definition, Purpose, Types & Cases

40. What is Criminal Law? - Definition, Purpose, Types & Cases

In this lesson, learn what constitutes criminal law, examine the types of criminal law, and review significant criminal cases to gain an understanding of criminal law in the United States today.

Racial Discrimination in the US Criminal Justice System

41. Racial Discrimination in the US Criminal Justice System

Racial discrimination is a complicated subject when it comes to criminal justice. Through this lesson, you will explore the various ways in which race influences the decisions and judgements made in the American criminal justice system.

What is a No Contact Order? - Definition, Examples & Rules

42. What is a No Contact Order? - Definition, Examples & Rules

At times situations arise in which individuals become vulnerable and need legal protection from other individuals. This lesson will look at no contact orders, when they are warranted, and provide examples of situations in which they can be requested.

No Contact Order vs. Restraining Order

43. No Contact Order vs. Restraining Order

This lesson will provide information on how a no contract order differs from a restraining order. Similarities will also be provided in order to compliment the differences. Examples on the different orders will also be covered in this lesson.

No Contact Order: Violation & Consequences

44. No Contact Order: Violation & Consequences

This lesson will provide a basic overview of different types of no contact orders and the consequences of violating those orders. Examples of different violations will also be covered.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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