ONLINE CLASS - CRIMINAL LAW - Valley College - Syllabus Information - Section 113 Spring Semester 2007

Welcome to the ONLINE version of Concepts of Criminal Law. I am happy to have all of you. We should have an exciting time this semester and learn a great deal, however, we will learn it DIFFERENTLY that we normally do in a face-to-face class.

I am always learning, too, as we proceed with online offerings at Valley College. Online classes are a relatively new experience for us in the Administration of Justice/Emergency Services section, so we are always looking for feedback on how to improve our courses and our services to you.

On these pages, you will find our syllabus for this course with detailed instructions as to how to log in, phone numbers to call in case of trouble, books required, and course descriptions and requirements. Also, I do not have everyone's e-mail address. If you know someone who enrolled in this course who did not provide their e-mail, please have them send me a message.

If you have trouble navigating the course, feel free to take the online orientation available at our college web site at:

Or you may give me a call if I can help walk you through anything (number below).

Again, welcome to the class. Contact me anytime if you need anything. See below for course information.

Rico Castro
Police Lieutenant (ret.)
Instructor – Valley College
Cell: (661) 714-6963



Admin of Justice 2     ONLINE Course # 0113
Start Date   Monday - February 5, 2007
Final Exam by Friday June 1, 2007

WHEN AND WHERE: Los Angeles Valley College ONLINE ONLY


1)   Enter the following web address to your browser -

2)   BOOKMARK THIS PAGE RIGHT NOW – Add it to your list of favorites. You will be coming back to this web page over and over.

3)   LOGIN - You’ll then login with the first two letters of your first name, the first two letters of your last name (all lower case), and the last five numbers of your Student Identification Number (SIN), NOT your social security number. For example, if my name is Rico Castro and my SIN is 231-45-6789, then my login is: rica56789.

4)   PASSWORD is your 4 digit birthdate. For example, if my birthday is May 4, then my password is: 0504. If my birthday is December 15, then my password is: 1215.  Remember to use leading zeros for the numbers, as in February 9 is 0209. The password must be four digits.

Help w/ login IDs and passwords available at:

5)  Look for the Administration of Justice 2 tab in the upper part of the screen. All the classes you have officially registered for should appear here. You only login once and then have access to all your online classes on the same page. Remember, the class web site is disabled until February 5th.


6)  Once you’re in our class, poke around. You generally navigate using the column of buttons on the left. Explore, get familiar with the layout. If you need help in how to use the software, go to the Valley College web page :

7)   When you are ready to begin the class, click on the ASSIGNMENTS button at the left, and choose the first assignment. Follow the instructions contained there.

Rico Castro
Cell 661-714-6963


Online – through the Class website DISCUSSIONS AND PRIVATE MESSAGES button on the left. I will try to get back to you the same day - even on weekends.

QUESTIONS AND CONTACTING THE INSTRUCTORS: Instructors are generally available during the week, however we prefer you to contact us on the course website through the DISCUSSIONS AND PRIVATE MESSAGES area. Use e-mail or telephone only if you have trouble with the first method. If you have questions, first check the “Questions?” area of the DISCUSSIONS page first, in which you can search for your answers by keyword.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The historical development, philosophy of law, and constitutional provisions; definitions, classification of crime, and the application to the administration of justice; legal research, study of case law, methodology, and concepts of law as a social force.

TEXTBOOKS: (two textbooks)

CRIMINAL LAW FOR POLICE OFFICERS (9th Edition) by Neil E. Chamelin
•           Approx $85.00
•           Hardcover: 352 pages
•           Publisher: Prentice Hall; 9th edition
•           ISBN: 0131188127


Use the Penal Code available in the book store. If you have a California Penal Code from another course, use that one.

You may obtain the books through the college bookstore or obtain them online or through any other source you have. Books must be obtained during the first week of the course in order to complete the first week’s assignment.


Generally, you will be reading one chapter a week, engaging in an online discussion board by submitting answers to questions that the instructor will post, and responding to some of your classmates during your online discussions. The discussions are ‘asynchronous’ – meaning that they occur at different times when people are available and not in ‘real-time’ like in a chat room. All of the course's modules are available the 1st day of class. We would like you to stick as close as possible to the course schedule, as that will facilitate your interaction with other students, and their interaction with you. However, as it is an online course meant to allow flexibility as to attendance and specific times, you may feel comfortable to get one week ahead or behind without serious penalty as long as you are up to date at Finals time. The research paper that is due will be submitted online using the standard classroom online procedures, or may be submitted via e-mail to the instructor, or in hard copy by contacting the instructor and making arrangements for delivery.


By the beginning of the week (Monday) you are required to read the assigned chapter. By Thursday, you are required to answer two of the posted questions. By Sunday of that week, you are required to respond to two of your classmates’ postings. Specific due dates and chapters will appear in the course assignments (‘Assignments’ button on the left).


Attendance is entirely online. All course work may be submitted online. If you decide to drop this course, you are required to officially withdraw through the Valley College Admissions and Registration Office. If you have not logged on or done any work by the 2nd census you will be dropped with a Never Attended. If you fail to officially drop the course, you may be given an “F” for the entire course.


SCHEDULE: (may be done in different order depending on book)

Week 1            Legal Research and Methodology

Week 2-3        Philosophical and Historical Development

Week 4            The Nature of Criminal Law

Week 5            Classification of Crimes

Week 6            Corpus Delicti – Elements of a crime

Week 7            Capacity to Commit Crime

Week 8-15      Overview of Specific Crimes

Week 16          FINAL EXAM –
Available Tuesday May 29, 2007 and due NO LATER THAN 11:30 P.M. on Friday, June 1, 2007

CLASS RULES: As outlined in the Los Angeles Valley College Schedule of Classes. Additionally, remember that the online forum is a college campus and respectful rules of behavior apply. With that in mind, any inappropriate postings by any student may be removed by the instructor and you will be notified by e-mail of the reasons.

TESTING: Written tests, Reading assignments, and Research Paper – details below:

1-         Mid-Term -      Week seven (worth 250 points)
3-         Research Paper – assigned week eight (worth 140 points)
4-         Final Exam       Finals Week (worth 400 points)
5-         Class participation (worth 210 points) is composed of your weekly online discussion board assignments of 15 points each week for 14 such assignments

A =      900 to 1000 points
B =      800 to 899 points
C =      700 to 799 points
D =      600 to 699 points
F =       below 600 points

All tests and assignments in this course are given only online. If you need help in submitting an assignment, contact the instructor. Bear in mind, on some of the tests, we limit the time and it is then controlled by the computer. Once you start taking a test, the clock starts, and it ends automatically at the appropriate time. The computer will not let you retake the test. Therefore, once you start, you must finish within the time period or no score will be recorded. Keep that in mind and hit the “SUBMIT” button at least 5 minutes before your time is up.


We make all tests available for several days before the deadline, therefore, there is no reason to request a makeup test, and we do not have any arrangements to grant such requests. Remember to keep up with your deadlines and the course schedule, take the tests when you can – rather than waiting until the last minute. If you will be unavailable at the deadline of a test, then you must take that test PRIOR to the deadline for it to be considered part of your grade.