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ADMJUST 126 - Substantive Criminal Law - L. Alvarez

Course:Substantive Criminal Law
Professor:L. Alvarez
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Greetings everyone and welcome!  I am Larry Alvarez and it is my honor to be your instructor this semester for Administration of Justice 125, Criminal Law.  I have been teaching criminal justice classes here at COC since 2004.  I have a Juris Doctorate (law) degree, a Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology/Criminology.  I am recently retired from the Los Angeles Police Department, as a detective sergeant, with 24 years of law enforcement experience.  I have held a variety of assignments to include custody, crime scene investigations, academy drill instructor, tactical response teams, patrol, field training officer, vice, gangs, divisional detectives, night detectives, counter terrorism, organized crime, intelligence investigations, surveillance, undercover operations, internal affairs, and the officer involved shooting team.  I also served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with the Airborne Long Range Surveillance (LRS) Teams.  As many people took the time to help me along my career path, I hope to be able to do the same for you.  I look forward to helping you identify and achieve your goals and career aspirations through this introductory criminal justice course!

Course Description

In this course, we will analyze substantive criminal law through the California Penal Code.  This course will use the Socratic method which is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue designed to stimulate critical thinking to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.  We will use case studies and case briefs to identify and analyze the relevant legal, social, and ethical issues presented.  This interactive approach is designed to enhance your problem-solving skills and to acquire skills as they relate to conducting investigations relying on fact-based evidence, legal reasoning, and effective written and oral communication.  By completing case briefs, you will describe a criminal dilemma in your own words, determine what the courts decided, describe the important facts and concepts involved, use the proper legal terminology, and identify the impacted procedure on the criminal justice system.

What to Expect in this Course

Important on First Day of Class 

To avoid being dropped from the course as a “No Show,” you must login to the course website on Canvas and complete a discussion board activity by 11:59 p.m. on the first day of class.  If you do not complete this assignment by the deadline, you will be dropped from this course.  Again, the website becomes available for student access at 8:00 a.m. and the assignment will be due no later than 11:59 p.m.  It is not enough to login to the Canvas course, you must also complete the discussion board activity to be counted as “present” in the course.

Rules of Netiquette

“Netiquette” is network etiquette, the do’s and don’ts of online communication.  Netiquette covers both common courtesy online and the informal “rules of the road” of cyberspace.  This link, provides a summary about Netiquette for your reference.

Required Online Skills

Internet Service.  You will need reliable and consistent internet access with an up-to-date browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.  AOL’s browser is often times not compatible with the Canvas platform.  In the case of technical internet problems, you may make use of the computer labs located on campus at COC.

Computer Skills.  A basic skill set in computer literacy will be necessary for this course.  You should be able to navigate the internet and should be able to create and handle basic documents, cut, copy, and paste, and manipulate basic email attachments.

Types of Assessments

Distance Education classes are as rigorous as regular classes and the time commitment is the same.  Your online classes are designed to require 9 hours of work each week, which is consistent with traditional courses.  Participation will be required, sometimes even more so than traditional classes.  DE formatted classes require a lot of reading.  Canvas allows for class discussion, quizzes, and exams.  Discussion boards will require thoughtful input, reflections, postings, and responses to your fellow classmates.  Quizzes and exams are often rigidly timed and will not allow sufficient time to research your answers.  It is highly recommended that you properly prepare and study the materials before attempting quizzes and exams.  You will also need to pay close attention to due dates and details.  You must complete all assignments in each individual module by the due dates for each assignment.  Late work will not be accepted

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

Textbook Title: AJ 126 Substantive Criminal Law Publisher: Pearson Publishing CA Criminal Law Concepts, 2019 Ed. (2020 Ed. Pending) Author: Hunt & Rutledge ISBN: 9780135717455


Other Relevant Course Information

If there are any questions regarding this Orientation Letter, please email me at  Remember, I am here to help you do your personal best! Enjoy your journey!

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 10/08/2021 Sub#: 861