Cover image for The criminal law handbook : know your rights, survive the system
The criminal law handbook : know your rights, survive the system
Bergman, Paul, 1943-
Personal Author:
Fifth edition.
Publication Information:
Berkeley, CA : Nolo, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (various pagings) : illustrations, forms ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF9619.6 .B47 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Index Table

On Order



The criminal justice system is a complex maze of rules and procedures. The police and criminal courts confuse and intimidate people. And the media features plenty of conflicting images about what to expect if you're the victim of -- or accused of committing -- a crime.

Author Notes

Paul Bergman is the author of many legal books
Sara J. Berman-Barrett is an attorney, bar review professor

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.¬ĎHarry Charles, St. Louis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Section I How Can This Book Help You?p. 2
Section II A Walk-Through of the Case of State v. Andrea Davidson, a Fictional Robbery Prosecutionp. 7
1 Talking to the Police
Section I Police Questioning of People Who Haven't Been Taken Into Custodyp. 3
Section II Police Questioning of Arresteesp. 10
2 Search and Seizure: When the Police Can Search for and Seize Evidence
Section I The Constitutional Backgroundp. 5
Section II Search Warrantsp. 10
Section III Warrantless and Consent Searchesp. 14
Section IV Warrantless Searches and the Plain View Doctrinep. 18
Section V Warrantless Searches That Are Incident to Arrestp. 20
Section VI "Stop and Frisk" Searchesp. 22
Section VII Searches of Car and Occupantsp. 24
Section VIII Warrantless Searches Under Emergency (Exigent) Circumstancesp. 28
Section IX Miscellaneous Warrantless Searchesp. 29
3 Arrest: When It Happens, What It Means
Section I General Arrest Principlesp. 3
Section II Arrest Warrantsp. 8
Section III Warrantless Arrestsp. 9
Section IV Use of Force When Making Arrestsp. 11
Section V Citizens' Arrestsp. 14
4 Police Procedures to Help Eyewitnesses Identify Suspects
Section I An Overview of Eyewitness Identification Proceduresp. 3
Section II Lineupsp. 7
Section III Showupsp. 18
Section IV Photo IDsp. 19
Section V Motions to Suppress Identificationsp. 21
5 Booking and Bail: Checking In and Checking Out of Jail
Section I The Booking Processp. 3
Section II Arranging for Bailp. 6
Section III Own Recognizance Release (Release O.R.)p. 15
6 From Suspect to Defendant: How Crimes Get Charged
Section I Crime and Criminal Casesp. 3
Section II To Charge or Not to Charge, That Is the Questionp. 5
Section III The Mechanics of Chargingp. 13
Section IV Grand Juriesp. 16
Section V Diversionp. 18
7 Criminal Defense Lawyers: Who They Are, What They Do, How to Find One
Section I Do I Need a Lawyer?p. 3
Section II Court-Appointed Attorneysp. 6
Section III Private Defense Attorneysp. 13
Section IV Self-Representationp. 22
8 Understanding the Attorney-Client Relationship in a Criminal Case
Section I Confidentialityp. 3
Section II Client-Centered Decision-Makingp. 7
Section III Lawyer-Client Communicationp. 13
Section IV Representing Guilty Defendantsp. 14
Section V Competent Clientsp. 16
9 A Walk Through Criminal Court
Section I The Courthousep. 3
Section II The Courtroomp. 4
Section III The Courtroom Playersp. 7
Section IV Courtroom Behaviorp. 13
10 Arraignments
Section I Timing of Arraignmentsp. 3
Section II Self-Representation at Arraignmentp. 11
11 Developing the Defense Strategy
Section I Overviewp. 3
Section II How the Defendant's Version of Events May Limit Defense Strategiesp. 7
Section III When Attorneys Ignore a Defendant's Version of Eventsp. 11
Section IV The Importance of Honesty in Developing a Defense Strategyp. 13
12 Crimespeak: Understanding the Language of Criminal Laws
Section I Mens Reap. 5
Section II The Meaning of Frequently Used Legal Languagep. 8
Section III Derivative Criminal Responsibilityp. 13
Section IV Murder and Manslaughterp. 19
Section V Rapep. 23
Section VI Burglaryp. 25
Section VII Robberyp. 28
Section VIII Theftp. 29
Section IX Hate Crimesp. 33
Section X The Patriot Actp. 35
13 Defensespeak: Common Defenses to Criminal Charges
Section I Prosecutor's Failure to Prove Guiltp. 3
Section II "Partial" Defensesp. 6
Section III Self-Defensep. 9
Section IV Alibip. 12
Section V Insanityp. 13
Section VI Intoxication (Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol)p. 17
Section VII Entrapmentp. 19
Section VIII Jury Nullificationp. 20
14 Discovery: Exchanging Information With the Prosecution
Section I Modern Discovery Policyp. 2
Section II Discovery of Helpful Informationp. 3
Section III Discovery of Harmful Informationp. 6
Section IV Reciprocal Discoveryp. 9
15 Investigating the Facts
Section I Interviewing Prosecution Witnessesp. 2
Section II Finding and Interviewing Defense Witnessesp. 5
Section III Other Investigation Tasks and Their Costsp. 6
16 Preliminary Hearings
Section I What Preliminary Hearings Are and When They Are Heldp. 2
Section II Basic Rights During Preliminary Hearingsp. 7
Section III Common Defense and Prosecution Strategies at the Preliminary Hearingp. 10
17 Fundamental Trial Rights of the Defense
Section I The Defendant's Right to Due Process of Lawp. 3
Section II The Prosecution's Burden of Proofp. 5
Section III The Defendant's Right to Remain Silentp. 8
Section IV The Defendant's Right to Confront Witnessesp. 11
Section V The Defendant's (and the Media's) Right to a Public Trialp. 13
Section VI A Defendant's Right to a Jury Trialp. 16
Section VII A Defendant's Right to Counselp. 18
Section VIII A Defendant's Right to a Speedy Trialp. 20
Section IX The Defendant's Right Not to Be Placed in Double Jeopardyp. 22
18 Basic Evidence Rules in Criminal Trials
Section I Overviewp. 3
Section II Rules Regulating the Content of Testimonyp. 7
Section III Rules Regulating the Manner of Testimonyp. 19
Section IV Scientific Evidencep. 22
Section V Privileged (Confidential) Informationp. 27
19 Motions and Their Role in Criminal Cases
Section I The Basic Proceduresp. 3
Section II Common Pretrial Motionsp. 6
Section III Motions During Trialp. 11
Section IV Motions After Trialp. 13
20 Plea Bargains: How Most Criminal Cases End
Section I Plea Bargaining--The Basicsp. 3
Section II The Pros and Cons of Plea Bargainsp. 4
Section III The Plea Bargaining Processp. 8
Section IV The Strategy of Negotiating Plea Bargainsp. 13
21 The Trial Process
Section I Summary of the Trial Processp. 4
Section II Choosing a Judge or Jury Trialp. 5
Section III Jury Voir Direp. 7
Section IV Motions in Liminep. 11
Section V Opening Statementsp. 12
Section VI Prosecution's Case-in-Chiefp. 14
Section VII Direct Examination of Witnessesp. 15
Section VIII Cross-Examinationp. 18
Section IX Defense Motion to Dismissp. 19
Section X Defendant's Case-in-Chiefp. 19
Section XI Closing Argumentp. 21
Section XII Instructing the Juryp. 23
Section XIII Jury Deliberations and Verdictp. 25
22 Sentencing: How the Court Punishes Convicted Defendants
Section I Overview of Sentencingp. 4
Section II Sentencing Proceduresp. 10
Section III Sentence Optionsp. 16
Section IV The Death Penaltyp. 27
23 Appeals: Seeking Review by a Higher Court
Section I Appealsp. 2
Section II Writsp. 8
24 How the Criminal Justice System Works: A Walk Through Two Drunk Driving Cases
Section I Questions and Answers About DUI (Driving Under the Influence)p. 2
Section II DUI Case Examplesp. 11
25 Juvenile Courts and Procedures
Section I A Brief History of U.S. Juvenile Courtsp. 3
Section II Juvenile Court Jurisdictionp. 4
Section III Deciding Whether to File Chargesp. 7
Section IV The Right to Counsel and Other Constitutional Rightsp. 10
Section V Trying Juveniles As Adultsp. 14
Section VI Sentencing (Disposition) Optionsp. 18
Section VII Sealing Juvenile Court Recordsp. 23
26 Prisoners' Rights
Section I Prisons and Prisoners' Rightsp. 3
Section II Legal Resources for Prisoners and Their Familiesp. 13
Section III Parolep. 17
Section IV Pardonsp. 19
27 Looking Up the Law
Section I What to Researchp. 2
Section II Where to Do Researchp. 14
Section III Glossaryp. 16