Skagit Valley College logo

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   Criminal Law

 Title Abbreviation:   CRIMINAL LAW

 Department:    CJ&

 Course #:    110

 Credits:    3

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    3

 CIP:    430103

 EPC:    832

 REV:    2017

 Course Description  

Introduction to the history of criminal law which provides a philosophical understanding of the process of crime and punishment, understanding the various mental states required for criminal responsibility, statutory and common law defenses, terminology, legislation and adjudication, and common law defenses to criminal charges such as entrapment, self-defense and necessity. Includes elements of crimes as set forth in the Washington criminal codes (RCW, WAC and selected Federal Codes).


Prerequisite: CJ& 101 or department chair approval.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 33

Lab: 0

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Vocational Preparatory Required for ATA degree, Elective  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand basic development (nature and origins) of criminal law and its application to society.
  2. Develop a comprehension of main points and key terms denoted specifically to the application of criminal law.
  3. Possess knowledge of the various processes of crime and punishment.
  4. Understand the various mental states consistent with certain criminal acts and criminal responsibility.
  5. Differentiate between a crime and a tort.
  6. Develop an understanding of the general principles of Criminal Liability.
  7. Recall the differences between crimes against persons, property, public order and morals.
  8. Develop an understanding of juvenile crime and the applicability of criminal law.
  9. Know the differences between insanity, intoxication and diminished capacity.
  10. Understand the legislative role in the development of criminal law.
  11. Relate the elements that comprise the various criminal laws as written in the RCW of WA State.
  12. Develop a working knowledge of the WAC.
  13. Develop working knowledge and be able to differentiate between those crimes which are crimes against person, property and public order and morals.
  14. Understand and recall the felony crimes as stated in the WA State vehicle code (RCW 46).
  15. Recognize and discuss the crimes relating to children, especially those involving sex offenses.
  16. Understand the crimes and ramifications relating to domestic violence.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

1. Information Literacy

Definition: Recognizing when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
1.3 Evaluate information and its sources critically.
1.4 Evaluate issues (for example economic, legal, historic, social) surrounding the use of information.
1.5 Effectively integrate and use information ethically and legally to accomplish a specific purpose.

2. Critical Thinking

Definition: The ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge within a discipline and about the ways in which that knowledge is constructed and validated and to be sensitive to the ways these processes often vary among disciplines.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
2.1 Identify and express concepts, terms, and facts related to a specific discipline.
2.2 Analyze issues and develop questions within a discipline.

3. Communication

Definition: Understanding and producing effective written, spoken, visual, and non-verbal communication.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
3.1 Recognize, read, and comprehend academic and/or professional writing.

6. Individual Awareness & Responsibility

Definition: Understanding, managing, and taking responsibility for one’s learning and behavior in varied and changing environments.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
6.4 Use self-reflection to recognize and define a sense of self-identity in personal, social/gender, and/or cultural/global terms and in relationship to others.

Course Contents

  1. Nature and origins of criminal law.
  2. General principles of criminal law and criminal liability.
  3. Parties to a crime / vicarious liability.
  4. Criminal responsibility and the capacity to commit a crime.
  5. Criminal defenses, punishment and jurisdiction.
  6. Washington Administration Code (WACs).
  7. Revised Code of Washington, RCW 8, 9, 9A, 13, 46, 69.
  8. Applicable Federal Laws.