By Professor William Dixon
Criminal law impacts everyone every day. What if someone I love is accused of a crime? What does that mean, and what should I do? Obviously, a crime involves a “criminal act.” Does it matter what the actors state of mind was at the time that he or she committed the relevant act? What defenses might be asserted to avoid a criminal conviction? Can the police arrest anyone at will? What are the restraints, if any on a police officer’s right to arrest someone?
What is ” probable cause?” What is “reasonable suspicion?” Is there a difference between being stopped by the police on the street and being arrested? What are the limits on police authority in each of these situations?
To find out more about Criminal Law and Procedure, take the Paralegal course from Professor Thomas Lo, Assistant Public Defender with the Orange County Public Defenders Office here at South Coast College.