Criminal Law (Fall Semester Only)

I.     Course Prefix/Number: LAE 221

       Course Name: Criminal Law (Fall Semester Only)

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers history and principles of criminal law.  Content includes development of the court system, constitutional, statutory and common law; civil liability; rules of evidence; and criminal procedures. Also included are the principles of arrest, search and seizure; evaluation of evidence and admissibility; identification and classification of criminal offenses; court decisions, and the Illinois Criminal Code and courtroom and criminal trial procedures.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the nature and history of criminal law and how the Court System works.
  2. Discuss the difference between substantive law and the rules of procedure. 
  3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the rules of evidence. 
  4. Differentiate violent crime, property crime and legal defenses.
  5. Interpret and analyze case law and apply their knowledge to real-life situations.
  6. Describe the workings of the entire Court System in Illinois and of the United States Supreme Court.
  7. Explain substantive law and how procedural law governs the substantive law.
  8. Outline the concept of probable cause and its use in Criminal Justice for the arrest situation and warrant situation.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Week 1 -  Introduction to the course
Week 2 -  Nature and History of Criminal Law
Week 3 -  Criminal Liability and the Essence of Crime
Week 4 -  Expanding the Concept of Crime
Week 5 -  Justifications as Defenses
Week 6 -  Defenses:  Excuses and Insanity
Week 7 -  Legal and Social Dimensions of Personal Crime:  Homicide
Week 8 -  Assault, Battery, and Other Personal Crimes
Week 9 -  Legal and Social Dimensions of Property and Computer Crimes
Week 10 - Offenses against Public Order and the Administration of Justice
Week 11 - Offenses against Public Morality
Week 12 - Terrorism and Human Trafficking
Week 13 - Victims and the Law
Week 14 - Punishment and Sentencing
Week 15 - Course Review
Week 16 - FINAL EXAM

VII.  Methods of Instruction


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required


Course will be taught as a face-to-face course with class participation.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.


X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grades will be determined by the degree of the student’s comprehension of the material presented in the lectures and assignments.  The following is a rough breakdown of factors considered in grading.

Weekly quizzes 50%
Midterm 15%
Final 15%
Class Participation   10% 
Attendance 10%


Cell phones, computers, IPads or any other electronic device will not be used in the classroom, during class, for entertainment and activities not related to the course material.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.