Ch 8: Criminal Law in the U.S.

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons to learn more about criminal law in the U.S., including its features, origins and purposes. Each lesson is followed by an online quiz, which can help you determine which areas of study may need additional review.

Criminal Law in the U.S. - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

This series of video lessons provides you with a brief introduction to key concepts related to criminal law in America. First, you'll gain important foundational knowledge regarding the nature of law in the U.S., and then you'll learn about specific kinds of law, such as criminal law, civil law, procedural law, public law, and more. At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the nature and origin of American law
  • Identify several different kinds of laws
  • Explain the rule of law
  • Compare and contrast different kinds of laws, such as public and private or criminal and civil law

Video Objective
American Law: History & Origins from English Common Law Discuss the difference between law and common law, and explain English common law origins and purposes
The Nature and Purpose of Criminal Law Explain why criminal laws are established
What Is the Rule of Law? - Definition & Principle Describe concepts related to the rule of law, such as, no one individual or entity being considered above the law, and discuss limitations on government
Public Law vs. Private Law: Definitions and Differences Define and contrast these two types of law
Criminal Law vs. Civil Law: Definitions and Differences Define and compare these two types of law
Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law: Definitions and Differences Explain and contrast these two types of law; understand the concepts of due process and statutory law

6 Lessons in Chapter 8: Criminal Law in the U.S.
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.

The Nature and Purpose of Criminal Law

2. The Nature and Purpose of Criminal Law

In this lesson, you will explore the part of our justice system called criminal law. You will discover what defines it and makes it different from other forms of law. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

What Is the Rule of Law? - Definition & Principle

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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