Course Description

This course provides an overview of both substantive and procedural aspects of California criminal law. Substantive materials covered includes crimes against the person, property, and habitation, as well as crimes against public order and morals. Specific crimes studied in depth range from petty theft to murder, together with such defenses as insanity and diminished capacity. Topics include:

  • Introduction to the California criminal justice system
  • Elements of crimes
  • Inchoate offenses
  • Offenses against persons
  • Crimes against property and habitation
  • Offenses against public order and morality
  • Defenses to crimes
  • Procedures from arrest through appeal and execution of sentence

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply fundamental legal concepts, such as mens rea necessity which applies across all categories of criminal offenses
  • Utilize definitions of various crimes against the person and the property
  • Understand how a paralegal can assist an attorney through the process of arrest through verdict and sentencing


Fundamentals of Paralegal Studies or consent of program director


Certification Disclosure: In California an individual may qualify to hold one’s self out as a paralegal in one of several ways including earning a certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association. (Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §6450(c)(1).) The Paralegal Professional Certificate program offered by UCSB PaCe satisfies the requirements of California law in this regard.


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Not offered this quarter. Classes are offered according to the schedule on the respective Certificate or Program Page. Please click on the Request Information below to be promptly notified when enrollment opens.