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 Oct, 2023
Language - English
Duration -1.5 hours
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.
Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course
What is a Crime?
- 1 - The Actus Reus 17:06 17:06
- 2 - Crimes of Omission 17:06 17:06
- 3a - Mental States - a Broad Overview 06:14 06:14
- 3b - Mental States - Mens Rea 11:29 11:29
- 3c - Mistake of Fact and Mistake of Law 07:44 07:44
- 4 - Concurrence (Actus Reus and Mens Rea together) 05:07 05:07
- 5 - Causation - What caused the result? 17:03 17:03
- 6 - Inchoate Crimes and Practice Problems 17:35 17:35
- Practice Problem Answers - Do the Problems First! 09:02 09:02
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