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Criminal Law & Procedure Specialist Certification & Externship Program

Program includes National Certification & an Externship Opportunity

The Criminal Law & Procedure Specialist

Numerous crimes such as homicide, theft, and conspiracy make up the state and federal penal statutes by which the state prosecutes individuals for actions we’ve collectively decided are not acceptable to civil society. Likewise, criminal law addresses the various defenses available to individuals accused of committing such crimes such as self-defense and insanity and the way in which these defenses can be applied. At the core of criminal law, however, is the interpretation of a criminal statute ensuring that an individual cannot be convicted of a crime unless they are guilty of every element included in the statute. To ensure these prosecutions and enforcement are carried out in a way that does not threaten our individual liberties, Criminal Law and Procedure professionals work at the intersection between the criminal justice system and the United States Constitution.

The Criminal Law & Procedure Specialist Program

This program examines key provisions of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments as they apply to police investigation and interrogation as well as to the circumstances under which defendants are prosecuted. The program takes students through the often-controversial and complex procedures balancing individual rights against the protection of an entire citizenry. To this end, students will explore search and seizure of individuals or property, due process requirements for the accused and how these requirements have evolved over the last century through landmark cases interpreted by the US Supreme Court that produced Miranda rights, Terry stops and other common-place considerations that define criminal process. This program deals with both substantive criminal law and the legal procedures that govern its enforcement in order to safeguard individual liberties.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Examine the criminal law judicial system
  • Explain the criminal trial process
  • Relate criminal law, criminal procedure, and the United States Constitution
  • Classify criminal offenses
  • Analyze crimes against the person,property,security and  against the state
  • Analyze social crimes
  • Create defense scenarios
  • Analyze the ethical issues raised in the criminal justice process
  • Examine the constitutional rights of the accused before arrest
  • Examine the constitutional rights of the accused after arrest
  • Examine the constitutional rights of the accused at trial
  • Examine the constitutional rights of a convict
  • Assess criminal law and procedure
  • Use Microsoft Office


  • Describe English common law
  • Explain the major theories of law and schools of jurisprudence
  • Identify the sources of criminal law in the United States
  • Distinguish criminal law from civil law
  • Outline the U.S. judicial system
  • Outline the investigation, arrest, and pretrial components of the criminal process
  • Outline the process of a criminal case trial
  • Describe the appeal phase of the criminal process
  • Identify the conditions of serving a sentence
  • Outline criminal procedure
  • Summarize the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution
  • Describe how the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution are evident in criminal law and procedure


  • Identify types of computer systems used in a law office
  • Describe how an act or omission may be a crime
  • Describe mens rea
  • Describe actus reus
  • Describe causation of criminal offenses


  • Define murder and its various degrees
  • Explore examples of inchoate offenses
  • Define manslaughter and its various types


  • Examine the variations of violence against the person
  • Describe the elements of each variation of violence against the person


  • Explore rights associated with each type of property
  • Examine theft and its classifications
  • Define robbery
  • Define burglary
  • Define arson


  • Define treason with respect to the provisions in the U.S. Constitution
  • Explore terrorism with respect to the provisions of the Patriot Act of 2001
  • Research the rights of a U.S. president during times of war or armed conflict


  • Analyze the defenses for types and elements of perjury
  • Summarize the elements of and defenses to bribery charges
  • Research governmental controls to limit organizational corruption
  • Research how protests become criminal behavior


  • Examine the elements required to prosecute prostitution
  • Define public indecency
  • Describe the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on abortion
  • Summarize the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on sodomy


  • Outline defenses rooted in common law, statutory law, and the Constitution that are available to a criminal defendant
  • Analyze a crime scenario using various sources of law
  • Design a defense for a crime scenario using various sources of law


  • Examine how attorney-client privilege, husband-wife privilege, priest-penitent privilege, and patient-counselor privilege may create ethical challenges in a criminal case
  • Research how conflict of interest impacts a criminal case
  • Examine how confidentiality may create ethical challenges in a criminal case
  • Explore how unauthorized practice of law is a crime
  • Explore how zealous representation could impact a criminal case


  • Explore the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • Explore why probable cause and sufficient proof are required for a search warrant to be issued
  • Examine the exclusionary rule and how searches may be conducted without a warrant
  • Describe the law on using technology for searches


  • Research how the Miranda case impacts interrogation and confession guidelines during the arrest process
  • Examine when physical evidence can be compelled from a defendant without violating the right against self-incrimination
  • Explore the grand jury system


  • Distinguish an arraignment from a preliminary hearing
  • Explore the right to counsel and the use of a public defender
  • Describe the right to a speedy trial


  • Analyze the provisions in the U.S. Constitution that require trial by jury in criminal cases
  • Define jury
  • Explain how members of a jury are selected
  • Explore the impact of pretrial publicity on a jury
  • Examine the intent of "beyond a reasonable doubt"


  • List capital crimes
  • Describe procedural safeguards required by the eighth amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • Research the law of appeals and post-conviction relief
  • Examine the U.S. Supreme Court's position on life in prison for repeat offenders
  • Research the criminal law and procedure of a case
  • Analyze a criminal case for potential violations of constitutional rights
  • Critique the criminal law and procedure used in a criminal case
  • Summarize a criminal case

Note: This program can be completed in 6 months. However, students will have online access to this program for a 24-month period.

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There is a National Certification exam available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam

National Certification

Upon successful completion of this program, students would be eligible to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program will be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so. works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.

Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location.works with national organizations and has the ability to place students in externship opportunities nationwide.

Note: No refunds can be issued after the start date published in your Financial Award document.