Intro to American Criminal Law (Part 1) - What is a Crime?

person icon Michael Traywick

Intro to American Criminal Law (Part 1) - What is a Crime?

We use the law to teach people how to think, reason, and argue better

updated on icon Updated on Oct, 2023

language icon Language - English

person icon Michael Traywick

architecture icon Criminal Law

Lectures -9

Resources -1

Duration -1.5 hours


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Course Description

In this class, we will dive deep into the parts that make a crime and a general overview of many underlying concepts of criminal law (Actus Reus (the voluntary act) Mistake of Fact, Crime of Omission, the Mens Rea (the criminal intent), and several other interesting ideas).

What is a crime? We will look at the underlying elements that make up a crime: Actus Reus, Mens Rea, Concurrence, and Causation. Almost every crime is made up of these four elements. We will get a concrete understanding of what each of those four parts are, and we will explore other factors in crimes that will increase our understanding of the topic.

I will provide videos for the course that will explain each topic along with practice story problems (called fact patterns in law) to help understand each concept. Students will be instructed to listen to a brief lesson, pause the video and try the practice problems themselves, then unpause the video to listen to the answers. Students should pay attention to the thinking behind the answers, not just the answers themselves.


What will you learn in this course:

- Students will learn the basic elements of a crime

- Students will learn to look for the little details, think through a problem, and not settle on the first answer that jumps to mind

- Students will have a broader understanding of the world of criminal law


What are the prerequisites for this course?

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Intro to American Criminal Law (Part 1) - What is a Crime?


Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course

What is a Crime?
9 Lectures
  • play icon 1 - The Actus Reus 17:06 17:06
  • play icon 2 - Crimes of Omission 17:06 17:06
  • play icon 3a - Mental States - a Broad Overview 06:14 06:14
  • play icon 3b - Mental States - Mens Rea 11:29 11:29
  • play icon 3c - Mistake of Fact and Mistake of Law 07:44 07:44
  • play icon 4 - Concurrence (Actus Reus and Mens Rea together) 05:07 05:07
  • play icon 5 - Causation - What caused the result? 17:03 17:03
  • play icon 6 - Inchoate Crimes and Practice Problems 17:35 17:35
  • play icon Practice Problem Answers - Do the Problems First! 09:02 09:02

Instructor Details

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Michael Traywick

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