LegalWays: Steps in a Criminal Case

Lesson Duration

By Jennifer Bloom and Sally Revak

This lesson from the LegalWays curriculum focuses on the procedure followed in a criminal case.  In the activity “Creating a Flow Chart” the students can work individually or in small groups.  It requires that the students use their knowledge from “Investigation and Arrest” and “Your Right to an Attorney” in addition to the information in this lesson.  By asking them to add pieces of information they think are important, the students reflect on their learning.  This lesson is designed for the computer.  However, it can be accomplished with posterboard and markers.  The “Mini-Mock Trial” concerns a stolen wallet and is a two-hour activity.  This activity benefits greatly by having a lawyer or judge serve as the judge for the mock trial.  (If there are enough students, one can assist the judge, serving as a co-judge.) Although this lesson uses Minnesota law and procedure, it is adaptable.


  • Students will understand criminal procedure and the steps in a criminal case
  • Students will understand the roles of lawyers and judges
  • Students will understand the role of all parties to a case

Time to Complete

Three class periods if Mini-Mock Trial is used.

Materials Needed


See Criminal Law Teaching Guide


LegalWays curriculum was funded by Grant No. 95-JS-FX-0300 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice.


Types of especially helpful comments: How you modified this for your class, How you would improve this lesson.

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