Criminal Law Handbook: Feel Your Rights, Survive The System By Attorneys Paul Bergman & Sara J. Berman is an impressive 678-sided criminal law information crime story. The book sets out to help you understand the confusing rules and procedures for crimes and to learn how the system works, why the police, lawyers and judges do what they do, and most importantly, what you can do to limit the damage. I think it achieves that goal very well. Most of the book is written in an understandable question and answer format to explain the criminal justice system, both inside and outside the courtroom. It goes from first police hearings through attempts at prison and parole.
The twenty-seven chapters break down like this:
Chapter one: Talk to the police. Chapter provides information on police hearings of persons who have not been taken in custody and questioning arrests.
Chapter two: Search and seizure. Some of the topics covered here include: search options, common sight doctrine, stop and fresh, car searches and warrantless searches.
Chapter Three: Arrest: When it happens, what it means. This chapter includes general arresting principles, arrest warrant, independent arrests, the use of force in arrest and the arrests of citizens.
Chapter Four: Eyewitness Identification: Psychology and Procedures. Topics include eyewitness identification procedures, eyewitness identification psychology, lineups, showups, photo identification and motions to suppress identification.
Chapter Five: Booking and Bail: Checks In and Out of Prison. The booking process, arranging for the deposit and released at your own expense is covered here.
Chapter six: From suspected to Defendant. This chapter focuses on crime and criminal cases and charges, grand juryes and diversion.
Chapter Seven: Criminal Defense Attorneys. Do you need a lawyer, attorneys appointed by the court, defense lawyers and self-representation are covered by this chapter.
Chapter Eight: Understanding Attorney-Client Relationship in a Criminal Matter. Topics include confidentiality, customer-based decision making, including lawyer-client communication.
Chapter Nine: A walk through the Criminal Court. The court, courtroom, courtroom players and courtroom behavior are explained.
Chapter Ten: Arraignments. Timing and self-representation at arraignments can be seen here.
Chapter eleven: Developing the defense strategy. Just what the capital title says, the basics of the defense strategy.
Chapter Twelve: Crimespeak: Understand the language of criminal law. The basics of things such as murder and death, sexual violence, burglary, robbery, hatred, patriot act and more.
Chapter Thirteen: Defensespeak: Common Defense Against Penalties. Topics such as partial defense, self-defense, alibi and insanity are included among them.
Chapter fourteen: Discovered: Exchange of information with the prosecutor. Discovery is an important part of any legal or civil case and this chapter provides the basis for the criminal arena.
Chapter fifteen: examine the facts Interviews and witnesses are some of the things covered here.
Chapter Sixteen: Preliminary Hearings. What they are, what your rights are, and common strategies for both sides are presented here.
Chapter Seventeen: Defense's fundamental right of trial. Topics covered are: Due process, burden of proof, right to stay quiet, right to confront witnesses, right to jury trial, right to counseling and others.
Chapter Eighteen: Basic Evidence Rules in Criminal Matters. There are procedures that must be followed when submitting evidence and this chapter contains guidelines for doing it right.
Chapter Nineteen: Motions and Their Role in Criminal Matters. Learn what they are and what they are for in this chapter.
Chapter Twenty: Plea Bargain: How Most Criminal Cases End. The basics of bargaining, the pros and cons, the process and the strategy for negotiating trial offers are discussed in this chapter.
Chapter Twenty: The trial process. Good chapter on different aspects of a trial from selecting a judge or jury for deliberations and judgments.
Chapter Twenty-two: Judgment: How the court punishes the convicted defendant. The basics of judgment methods and options and a bit about the death penalty.
Chapter Twenty-two. Appeals: Seeks review of a higher court. Losing by trial does not necessarily mean it's over. This chapter covers appeals and letters.
Chapter Twenty-four: How the Crime System Works: A walk through two drunk driving bags. Examples of driving with drinking water.
Chapter Twenty-five: Juvenile Courts and Procedures. Particular chapter explaining how things work in youth courts.
Chapter Twenty-Six: Capture Rules. Information covering prisons and prison rights, legal resources, parole and forgiveness.
Chapter Twenty-seven. Looking up the law. What and where to investigate, including a glossary.