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Criminal Law

The Essentials

Third Edition

Sue Titus Reid

Publication Date - 18 July 2016

ISBN: 9780190455002

400 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The most up-to-date and engaging overview of criminal law, in a slim, flexible, and affordable format


The most up-to-date book on the market, Criminal Law: The Essentials, Third Edition, provides a brief yet comprehensive introduction to this fascinating and ever-evolving field in a slim, flexible, and affordable format.

Meticulously revised and updated, the third edition features:

The most recent cases and developments in criminal law, illustrated with current events

New and updated focus boxes featuring real-world examples

Expanded discussions of terrorism, campus crimes, capital punishment, and drug-related crimes

Edited cases with additional information and questions, on the free, open-access Companion Website

Relevant portions of state and federal statutes, also on the Companion Website

A Student Study Guide on the Companion Website with chapter outlines, key terms with definitions, chapter overviews, learning objectives, and review, multiple-choice, fill-in-the blank, and short-answer questions

An Ancillary Resource Center containing an Instructor's Manual, a Computerized Test Bank, and PowerPoint lecture slides

New to this Edition

  • The most recent cases and developments in criminal law, illustrated with current events
  • New and updated focus boxes featuring real-world examples
  • Expanded discussions of terrorism, campus crimes, capital punishment, and drug-related crimes
  • Edited cases with additional information and questions, on the free, open-access Companion Website

About the Author(s)

Sue Titus Reid is Professor in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University.

Previous Publication Date(s)

October 2012
August 2008


"Criminal Law: The Essentials, Third Edition, gives students an overview of the basic concepts and definitions while allowing for more in-depth discussion and analysis in the classroom."--Robert Vaughn, Cedarville University

"I like this text's approach because it is concise yet comprehensive."--Delores Jones-Brown, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

"I love the organization of the book because it is set out exactly the way I teach the class from start to finish."--Robert M. Schieber, Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City

Table of Contents

    Each chapter opens with a Chapter Outline and an Introduction.
    Each chapter closes with a Summary, Study Questions, a "For Debate" section, Key Terms, an Internet Activity, and Notes.
    CHAPTER 1. An Introduction to Criminal Law
    The Emergence of Law
    Civil and Criminal Law Distinguished
    The Nature and Purpose of Criminal Law
    Criminal Law as Punishment
    Criminal Law and Morality
    U.S. Legal Provisions for Government
    The Principle of Legality
    The Judicial Branch of Government
    U.S. Court Systems
    The Model Penal Code (MPC) and Criminal Law Reform
    English Common Law and Its Impact
    Sources of Criminal Law
    Statutory Law
    Judicial Decisions and Customs
    Administrative Law
    Discretion and Criminal Law
    Classification of Crimes and Related Offenses
    Grade of Offense
    Moral Turpitude
    The Limitations on Criminal Law
    Void for Vagueness and Overbreadth
    Ex Post Facto Laws and Bills of Attainder
    Repeal or Amendment of a Statute
    Cruel and Unusual Punishment
    Due Process and Equal Protection
    The Right of Privacy
    Other Constitutional Limitations
    The Establishment of Guilt
    The Adversary System
    The Burden of Proof
    Determining Criminal Culpability: The Judge and the Jury
    How to Read and Interpret an Appellate Opinion
    Chapter 2. Elements of a Crime
    The Elements of a Crime
    A Criminal Act
    --The Exclusion of Involuntary Conduct
    --The Exclusion of Status
    --Proof of an Act
    --Possession as an Act
    --Criminal Failure to Act
    A Criminal Intent
    --Problems of Interpretation
    --Proving Criminal Intent
    The Concurrence of a Criminal Act and a Criminal Intent
    Attendant Circumstances
    Liability Without Fault
    Strict Liability
    Vicarious Liability
    Enterprise Liability
    Chapter 3. Anticipatory Offenses and Parties to Crimes
    Elements of Solicitation
    Defenses to Solicitation
    Elements of Attempt
    Defenses to Attempt
    The Problem of Definition
    Elements of Conspiracy
    --The Act or Agreement
    --The Problem of Multiple Agreements
    --The Requirement of an Act Plus an Agreement
    --The Intent
    Limitations on Parties to Conspiracy
    Defenses to Conspiracy
    Other Issues in Conspiracy
    Parties to Crimes
    Elements of Accomplice Liability
    Other Issues in Accomplice Liability
    --The Wharton Rule
    --Defenses to Accomplice Liability
    --The Scope of Accomplice Liability
    Prosecuting Anticipatory Offenses and Parties to Crimes
    Chapter 4. Defenses to Criminal Culpability
    The Burden of Proof and Presumptions
    Types of Defenses
    Ignorance or Mistake
    Duress or Necessity
    --Insanity Tests
    --Guilty but Mentally Ill (GBMI)
    --Guilty Except Insane
    --Abolition of the Insanity Defense
    Diminished Capacity or Partial Responsibility
    Outrageous Government Conduct
    Defense of Persons and Property
    --Defense of Others
    --Defense of Property
    Law Enforcement
    Domestic Authority
    Consent and Condonation
    Syndrome and Stress Disorder Defenses
    Chapter 5. Criminal Homicide
    An Overview of Violent Crimes
    General Definitional Issues
    --Another Human Being Requirement
    --The Definition of Death
    --The Year-and-a-Day Rule
    --Multiple Causation
    Corpus Delicti
    Elements of Murder
    Common Law Murder
    Types of Murder
    --Intent to Kill
    --Intent to Inflict Great Bodily Harm
    --Depraved Heart
    --Capital Murder
    --Intent to Commit a Felony
    --Murder for Hire
    Degrees of Murder
    Lesser Included Offenses
    Mercy Killing: An Exception or Murder?
    Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS)
    Voluntary Manslaughter
    --Heat-of-Passion Manslaughter
    --Manslaughter in Domestic Relations
    Involuntary Manslaughter
    --Misdemeanor or Negligent Manslaughter
    --Vehicular and DUI Manslaughter
    --Failure-to-Act Manslaughter
    Chapter 6. Assault, Rape, and Other Crimes against the Person
    Simple Assault
    Aggravated Assault
    Reckless Assault
    The Elements of Robbery
    Home Invasion Robbery
    Rape and Sodomy
    Definitional Issues
    The Elements of Rape and Sodomy
    --Gender of the Actor and of the Victim
    --The Requirement of Penetration
    --Lack of Consent
    Domestic Violence
    Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
    Marital Rape
    Date Rape
    Child Abuse
    --Statutory Rape
    Elder Abuse
    Campus Issues
    Active Shootings
    Sexual Assaults
    Racial Concerns
    Alcohol and Other Drugs
    False Imprisonment and Kidnapping
    Hate Crimes
    Chapter 7. Property and Related Crimes
    Serious Property Offenses
    --Common Law Larceny-Theft
    --Trespassory Taking
    --A Carrying Away
    --Personal Property of Another
    --With the Intent to Steal
    --Modern Theft Codes
    --Common Law Burglary
    --Statutory Burglary
    Motor Vehicle Theft
    --Common Law Arson
    --Statutory Arson
    Less Serious Property Offenses
    --Fraud Against the Elderly
    --Mortgage Fraud
    --Mail and Wire Fraud
    --Health Care Fraud
    --Securities Fraud
    --Academic and Related Fraud
    False Pretense
    Stolen Property: Buying, Receiving, Possessing
    Malicious Mischief
    Extortion or Blackmail
    Computer Crime
    Types of Computer Crime
    Controlling Computer Crime
    Identity Theft
    Characteristics of Identity Theft
    State and Federal Statutes
    Chapter 8. Crimes Against Public Order and Public Decency
    Crimes Against Public Order
    Breach of the Peace
    Fighting Words
    Disorderly Conduct, Vagrancy, and Loitering
    Criminalization of Homelessness
    Alcohol-and Drug-Related Offenses
    --Public Intoxication and Drug Incapacitation
    --Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
    --Alcohol Offenses and Minors
    --Sale of Alcohol to Minors
    --Minors in Possession
    Unlawful Assembly, Rout, and Riot
    Weapons Offenses
    Obstructing a Highway or Public Passage
    Animal Abuse
    Offenses Against Public Decency
    Human Trafficking
    Obscenity, Lewdness, and Indecency
    Seduction and Fornication
    --Federal Provisions
    --Revenge Porn
    Chapter 9. Crime Against the Government and Terrorism
    Crimes Against the Government
    Official Misconduct in Office
    Obstruction of Justice
    Contempt of Court
    --The Elements of Treason
    --Treason-Related Crimes
    The Problem of Definition
    --The Federal Criminal Code
    --State Terrorism Statutes
    Current Terrorist Threats by ISIS
    The Control of Terrorism
    --The National Level
    --The 9/11 Commission
    --The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
    --The USA Patriot Act
    --The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
    --The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
    --The State Level
    Chapter 10. Substance Abuse Crimes
    Alcohol Prohibition and Regulation
    Controlled Substances
    Possession of Controlled Substances
    Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
    The Manufacture, Prescription, and Sale of Illegal Drugs
    --Drug Trafficking
    --Prescription Drug Abuse
    The Nature and Extent of Drug Abuse
    The Impact of Drug Abuse
    Economic Cost
    Drugs and Crimes
    Health of Abusers
    Fetal Abuse
    Club Drugs, Alcohol, and Campus Issues
    Effect on Criminal Justice Systems
    The Control of Substance Abuse
    The Federal Level
    --The U.S. War on Drugs: A Brief History
    --Recent White House Drug-Control Policies
    The State Level
    --Mandatory Sentencing
    --Substance Abuse and Treatment
    Drug Courts
    Legalizing Marijuana
    Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes
    Recreational Use of Marijuana
    Chapter 11. Sentencing
    Determining Sentences
    Sentencing Models
    Presumptive Sentencing
    Sentencing Guidelines
    --State Sentencing Guidelines
    --Federal Sentencing Guidelines
    --Evaluation of Sentencing Guidelines
    Recent Sentencing Reform Measures
    "Three Strikes and You're Out" Legislation
    California's Proposition 47
    Truth-in-Sentencing Legislation
    The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
    Current Reform Issues
    Constitutional Issues in Sentencing
    Capital Punishment
    Execution of the Mentally Challenged
    Capital Punishment Execution Methods
    The Sentencing of Juveniles
    Sex Offender Laws
    State Registration Laws
    Federal Registration Laws
    Constitutional and Other Challenges
    Civil Commitment Procedures
    Appendix A: The Constitution of the United States: Selected Sections
    Appendix B: How to Read a Court Citation
    Case Index
    Name Index
    General Index

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