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CRMJ 1020 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

CRMJ 1020 - Introduction to the Legal Process (Section R35)

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course reviews basic laws governing the maintenance of a democratic society and how criminal and constitutional laws meet the challenge of American society. 

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Distinguish the differences between the local, state, and federal court systems.
  • Describe the roles of those who are involved in the American legal system - the district attorney, the defense counsel, the judge, and other various members of the court room workgroup.
  • Examine the laws pertaining to the American legal system, emphasizing the importance of the adversary system in the legal process including trial and sentencing.
  • Explore the development of the courts in the United States.
  • Analyze how the various laws protect the individual and their rights as an American citizen.
  • Explain the major events in history that led to the development of the American legal system.
  • Summarize the basic rules of evidence concerning trustworthiness and relevance of evidence.
  • Cite and describe the steps in a court trial.
  • Identify the major differences between the due process model of justice and the crime control model. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:
  • Law and Crime
  • Federal and State Courts
  • Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, and Judges
  • Defendants and Victims Arrest to Arraignment
  • Trials and Juries
  • Appellate Review 
Specific Course Requirements:

Students will complete a series of assignments, exams and participate in online discussions.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Additional Requirements:

This is a distance-learning course. To enroll in this course and be successful, students must have access to their own computer with graphic Web browser and will have to contract with an Internet service provider. Students must know how to navigate D2L, address technical problems immediately, and check and read e-mail every day for discussion board postings and general announcements. Students enrolled in this course must complete all requirements as outlined in the syllabus in order to receive a grade.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

The mid-term and final exam are proctored in a TBR Testing Center at a TBR university or community college.  Proctored means you go to a TBR university or community college to their testing center and take the test. The test is password protected. The proctor will type in the password for you. Cheating on exams will result in a grade of "F" in the course. Cheating in this class means giving or receiving help on an exam.  Exams will only be reset without penalty if and only if there is a TN eCampus systems failure.

Grading Procedures:

Letter grades are distributed using percentages determined by a weighted score formula;

Description Points / Percentage
6 Assignments, @ 10 points each (lowest score dropped) 50 Points (Weight 35%) 
6 Discussion Topics, @ 10 points each (lowest score dropped) 50 Points (Weight 25%)
1 proctored Mid-Term Exam, @ 50 points each 50 Points (Weight 20%) 
1 proctored Final Exam, @ 50 points each50 Points (Weight 20%) 
 Percentage Total: 100%
Grading Scale:
Percentage Assigned Grade 
90 - 100A
80 - 89B
70 - 79C
60 - 69D
under 60F
Assignments and Projects:

There will be 6 written assignments and 6 discussion topics for this course. No late assignments will be accepted. However, the lowest score for the discussion topics and for the writing assignments will be dropped. Cheating on assignments will result in a grade of "F" in the course. Cheating in this class means giving or receiving help on an assignments and plagiarizing papers.

Class Participation:

Students are expected to participate in all interactive aspects of the course as part of your overall grade. You must actively participate in discussion topics. The instructor will monitor the discussion in order to ensure regular use of this interactive aspect of the course. Students are expected to check for email messages from the instructor and communicate with a response.

Class participation in discussion board topics is mandatory. 

Late Policy:

Instructor will allow a reasonable time to complete assignments. No late assignments will be accepted. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on March 18, 2020