Cover image for The criminal law handbook : know your rights, survive the system
The criminal law handbook : know your rights, survive the system
16th ed.
Physical Description:
634 pages ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Introduction: a walk-through of the case of State v. Andrea Davidson, a fictional robbery prosecution -- Talking to the police -- Search and seizure -- Arrest: when it happens, what it means -- Eyewitness identification: psychology and procedures -- Booking and bail: checking in and out of jail -- From suspect to defendant -- Criminal defense lawyers -- Understanding the attorney-client relationship in a criminal case -- A walk through criminal court -- Arraignment -- Developing the defense strategy - Criminal laws and their language -- Common defenses to criminal charges -- Discovery: exchanging information with the prosecution -- Investigating the facts -- Preliminary hearings -- Fundamental trial rights of the defense -- Basic evidence rules in criminal trials -- Motions and their role in criminal cases -- Plea bargains: how most criminal cases end -- The trial process -- Sentencing -- Appeals and writs -- Victims and their rights -- The system at work: DUI laws and processes -- Juvenile courts and procedures -- Prison rules -- Glossary -- Index.
Added Corporate Author:
This book demystifies the complex rules and procedures of criminal law. It explains how the system works, why police, lawyers, and judges do what they do, and what suspects, defendants, and prisoners can expect. It also provides critical information on working with a lawyer. --


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 345.7305 BER 2020 1 1
Book 345.7305 BER 2020 1 1

On Order



The criminal justice system is complicated, understand it and your rights

This book demystifies the complex rules and procedures of criminal law. It explains how the system works, why police, lawyers, and judges do what they do, and what suspects, defendants, and prisoners can expect. It also provides critical information on working with a lawyer.

In plain English, The Criminal Law Handbook covers:

search and seizure arrest, booking, and bail Miranda rights arraignment plea bargains trials sentencing common defenses working with defense attorneys constitutional rights juvenile court preliminary hearings appeals public defenders victims' rights

This edition is completely updated, covering the latest in criminal law, including U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Author Notes

Paul Bergman is a professor of law emeritus at UCLA School of Law and recipient of two University Distinguished Teaching Awards. He has written many legal books, including Nolo's Represent Yourself in Court.
Sara J. Berman has served for decades in faculty and administrative leadership roles in law schools. She is the author of numerous articles and books and coauthor of Represent Yourself in Court.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

An excellent and balanced guide to the state court criminal justice process, this book does not detail the differences of being charged in federal court, such as federal sentencing guidelines. Authors Bergman (Reel Justice, LJ 6/1/96) and Berman-Barrett, also a criminal attorney, use a question-and-answer format to cover cases from police investigations through appeals. The book is not intended to replace legal advice, and the authors stress the importance of obtaining representation, unlike Michael Saeger in Defend Yourself Against Criminal Charges (LJ 10/1/97), a recent, inferior guide. A worthy addition to all libraries that will instruct those interested in the criminal justice system.‘Harry Charles, St. Louis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Your Legal Companionp. 1
Introduction: A Walk-Through of the Case of State v. Andrea Davidson, a Fictional Robbery Prosecutionp. 3
1 Talking to the Policep. 11
Police Questioning of People Who Haven't Been Taken Into Custodyp. 14
Police Questioning of Arresteesp. 20
2 Search and Seizurep. 37
The Constitutional Backgroundp. 42
Search Warrantsp. 48
Consent Searchesp. 53
The Plain View Doctrinep. 58
Warrantless Searches Incident to Arrestp. 59
"Stop and Frisk" Searchesp. 63
Searches of Cars and Occupantsp. 65
Warrantless Searches or Entries Under Emergency (Exigent) Circumstancesp. 72
Miscellaneous Warrantless Searchesp. 73
3 Arrest: When It Happens, What It Meansp. 81
General Arrest Principlesp. 84
Arrest Warrantsp. 88
Warrantless Arrestsp. 89
Use of Force When Making Arrestsp. 92
Citizens' Arrestsp. 94
4 Eyewitness Identification: Psychology and Proceduresp. 99
An Overview of Eyewitness Identification Proceduresp. 101
The Psychology of Eyewitness Identificationp. 103
Lineupsp. 106
Showupsp. 111
Photo (Mug Shot) Identificationsp. 112
Motions to Suppress Identificationsp. 113
5 Booking and Bail: Checking In and Out of Jailp. 115
The Booking Processp. 117
Arranging for Bailp. 122
Own Recognizance Release (Release O.R.)p. 131
6 From Suspect to Defendantp. 135
Crime and Criminal Casesp. 137
To Charge or Not to Charge, That Is the Questionp. 139
The Mechanics of Chargingp. 146
Grand juriesp. 148
Diversionp. 151
7 Criminal Defense Lawyersp. 155
Should a Defendant Have a Lawyer?p. 157
Court-Appointed Defense Attorneysp. 160
Private Defense Attorneysp. 166
Self-Re presentationp. 175
8 Understanding the Attorney-Client Relationship in a Criminal Casep. 185
Confidentialityp. 187
Client-Centered Decision Makingp. 191
Keeping Clients "In the Know"p. 197
Representing Guilty Defendantsp. 198
Competent Clientsp. 199
9 A Walk Through Criminal Courtp. 203
The Courthousep. 205
The Courtroomp. 206
The Courtroom Playersp. 208
Courtroom Behaviorp. 213
10 Arraignmentp. 217
Arraignment Basicsp. 218
Self-Representation at Arraignmentp. 225
11 Developing the Defense Strategyp. 229
Overviewp. 231
How the Defendant's Version of Events May Limit Defense Strategiesp. 235
When Attorneys Ignore a Defendant's Version of Eventsp. 239
The Importance of Honesty in Developing a Defense Strategyp. 240
12 Criminal Laws and Their Languagep. 243
Mens Reap. 247
The Meaning of Frequently Used Legal Languagep. 251
Derivative Criminal Responsibilityp. 256
Murder and Manslaughterp. 261
Sexual Violencep. 266
Assault and Batteryp. 272
Motor Vehicle Crimesp. 273
Narcotics Offensesp. 275
Burglaryp. 276
Robberyp. 278
Theftp. 279
Hate Crimesp. 282
White-Collar Crimesp. 284
13 Common Defenses to Criminal Chargesp. 293
Prosecutor's Failure to Prove Guiltp. 296
"Partial" Defensesp. 300
Self-Defensep. 303
Alibip. 306
Insanityp. 308
Duressp. 313
Necessityp. 313
Intoxication (Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol)p. 314
Entrapmentp. 316
Jury Nullificationp. 316
14 Discovery: Exchanging Information With the Prosecutionp. 319
Modern Discovery Policyp. 320
Discovery of Information Helpful to the Defensep. 321
Discovery of Harmful Informationp. 324
Reciprocal Discoveryp. 327
15 Investigating the Factsp. 329
Interviewing Prosecution Witnessesp. 330
Finding and Interviewing Defense Witnessesp. 332
16 Preliminary Hearingsp. 335
An Overview of Preliminary Hearingsp. 336
Defense Rights During Preliminary Hearingsp. 340
Common Defense and Prosecution Strategiesp. 342
17 Fundamental Trial Rights of the Defensep. 347
The Defendant's Right to Due Process of Lawp. 350
The Prosecution's Burden of Proofp. 353
The Defendant's Right to Remain Silentp. 355
The Defendant's Right to Confront Witnessesp. 358
The Defendant's (and the Media's) Right to a Public Trialp. 361
A Defendant's Right to a Jury Trialp. 364
A Defendant's Right to Counselp. 366
A Defendant's Right to a Speedy Trialp. 369
The Defendant's Right Not to Be Placed in Double Jeopardyp. 370
18 Basic Evidence Rules in Criminal Trialsp. 375
Overviewp. 378
Rules Regulating the Content of Testimonyp. 381
Rules Regulating the Manner of Testimonyp. 394
Expert Witnesses, Scientific Evidence, and Specialized Knowledgep. 397
Privileged (Confidential) Informationp. 403
19 Motions and Their Role in Criminal Casesp. 407
Basic Proceduresp. 409
Pretrial Motionsp. 411
Motions During Trialp. 416
Posttrial Motionsp. 417
20 Plea Bargains: How Most Criminal Cases Endp. 421
Plea Bargaining-Terminology and Timingp. 423
The Pros and Cons of Plea Bargainsp. 424
The Plea Bargaining Processp. 428
The Strategy of Negotiating Plea Bargainsp. 433
21 The Trial Processp. 439
Summary of the Trial Processp. 442
Choosing a Judge or Jury Trialp. 443
Jury Voir Direp. 445
Motions in Liminep. 448
Opening Statementsp. 449
Prosecution's Case-in-Chiefp. 451
Direct Examination of Witnessesp. 452
Cross-Examinationp. 453
Defense Motion to Dismissp. 455
Defendant's Case-in-Chiefp. 456
Closing Argumentp. 457
Instructing the Juryp. 459
Jury Deliberations and Verdictp. 461
22 Sentencingp. 469
Overview of Sentencingp. 472
Sentencing Proceduresp. 480
Sentence Optionsp. 485
Community Servicep. 494
Miscellaneous Alternative Sentencesp. 495
The Death Penaltyp. 497
23 Appeals and Writsp. 505
The Appeal Processp. 507
Writsp. 513
24 Victims and Their Rightsp. 519
Victims and the Criminal Justice Systemp. 520
Pretrial Processesp. 521
The Trial-and-Sentencing Processp. 523
Posttrial Processesp. 525
25 The System at Work: DUI Laws and Processesp. 527
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)p. 528
DUI Case Examplesp. 534
26 Juvenile Courts and Proceduresp. 543
A Brief History of U.S. Juvenile Courtsp. 546
Juvenile Court Jurisdictionp. 547
Deciding Whether to File Chargesp. 548
The Right to Counsel and Other Constitutional Rightsp. 552
Trying juveniles as Adultsp. 555
Sentencing (Disposition) Optionsp. 559
Sealing Juvenile Court Recordsp. 565
27 Prison Rulesp. 567
A System of Limited Rightsp. 569
Legal Resources for Prisoners and Their Familiesp. 579
Parolep. 584
Pardonsp. 587
Glossaryp. 589
Indexp. 605