Course Descriptions & Student Learning Outcomes

AJ 221 - Introduction To Criminal Law

  • Prerequisite or Corequisite: AJ 101

This course examines society's control of unwanted behavior through law. The particular focus is on the general principles of substantive criminal law. Topics include principles of criminal liability - actus reus, mens rea, causation, uncompleted crimes, and criminal defenses. General elements of crimes are covered including crimes against persons, habitation, property, and public order and morals. Applicable provisions of the Hawaii Penal Code will also be discussed.

3 hrs. lect. per week

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of AJ 221, the student will be able to:

  • Define criminal law and identify the purposes served by the criminal law;
  • Identify and describe the three fundamental aspects of criminal liability: (actus reus, mens rea, and causation);
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the concept of inchoate crimes (uncompleted crimes) which traditionally include (1) attempt, (2) solicitation, and (3) conspiracy;
  • Define what a criminal defense is, the two types (factual and legal), and describe the difference between a justification and an excuse;
  • Describe and identify the three types of criminal homicide and to distinguish them from noncriminal homicide;
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the legal and social dimensions of personal crimes (or crimes against the person) as well property crimes;
  • Identify and describe the various offenses against public order, administration of government, and public morality; and
  • Describe the elements of specific crimes selected from the Hawaii Penal Code.

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