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LSTD203 - Criminal Law and Procedure for the Paralegal

Course Details

Course Code: LSTD203 Course ID: 2901 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course will examine the practical aspects of criminal law and procedure as they pertain to the work of the paralegal. The course covers the nature of criminal liability, the elements of various crimes, and defenses to criminal accusations. The course will also cover criminal procedure, from search and seizure through trial and appeal. Constitutional issues relating to search and seizure, self-incrimination and other matters are explored in depth. Students learn how to prepare relevant legal documents.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/28/19 - 04/03/20 04/06/20 - 05/31/20 Spring 2020 Session B 8 Week session
12/30/19 - 05/29/20 06/01/20 - 07/26/20 Spring 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Describe the Criminal Law System.

2. Define the sources of Criminal Law.

3. Differentiate among the agencies involved in the Criminal Law System.

4. Give examples of the role of the paralegal in the Criminal Law System.

5. Demonstrate the tasks required of the paralegal at each of the procedural steps in a criminal trial.

6. Understand how to perform practical paralegal tasks such as intake, assigning charges, and drafting a Criminal complaint.

7. Explore new and growing areas of crime, such as cybercrime and healthcare fraud.


There are two Supreme Court Essay Assignments, one due at the end of Week 5 and the other due at the end of Week 7. See the Assignment section for more information.

The seven weekly Forums due during the course count as 35% of the final grade. The initial posting on Forums is due by WEDNESDAY, midnight EST and should be substantive, including attribution where appropriate . You are required to submit THREE follow on posts to your classmates’ (or instructor's) postings by SUNDAY, midnight, EST. The forum grading rubric can be found in Gradebook.

Use the Blue Book format for all citations. Example, for cases: York v. Smith , 65 U.S. 294 (1995). Blue Book citation format is required all citations in this course (including citations of the textbook). For further information see various Resources in the classroom concerning proper Blue Book citation format or contact your instructor. Failure to give proper attribution to sources and failure to adhere to property citation format will result in point loss and may also result in referral for disciplinary action for violation of the University’s Plagiarism Policy.


The midterm and final exams will be taken open book and witih unlimited time. The exams will be posted in the electronic classroom under “exams”. These exams will be a mix of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essays.

NameGrade %
Forums 34.00 %
Forum Week 1, #2 5.67 %
Forum Week 2 5.67 %
Forum Week 3 5.67 %
Forum Week 5 5.67 %
Forum Week 6 5.67 %
Forum Week 7 5.67 %
Written Assignments 15.00 %
Week 5 - Supreme Court essay 1 7.50 %
Week 7 - Supreme Court Essay 2 7.50 %
Midterm Exam 25.00 %
Midterm Examination 25.00 %
Final Exam 25.00 %
Final Examination 25.00 %
Forum Introduction 1.00 %
Forum Week 1 - Introduction 1.00 %
Book Title: Bluebook: Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed. - available online through the APUS Online Library:
Author: Harvard, Columbia Law Review
Publication Info: Harvard, Columbia Law Review
ISBN: 9780692400197
Book Title: Criminal Law, 11th ed. - e-book available in the APUS Online Library; link also provided in the classroom Lessons section
Author: Pollock
Publication Info: Routledge
ISBN: 9780323353977

Book Title:Bluebook: Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed. - - e-book available online, please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Publication Info:Harvard, Columbia Law Review
Author:Harvard, Columbia Law Review
Unit Cost:$41.30
Book Title:Criminal Law, 11th ed. - e-book available in the APUS Online Library; link also provided in the classroom Lessons section
Publication Info:Routledge
Unit Cost:$102.16

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.