How Criminal Law Works provides a conceptual guide to the law by introducing the reader to the special terminology, methods and traditions that inform the criminal law. It pays special attention to the language of criminal law and its challenges. Designed to be highly readable, the book plainly defines all critical terms and makes no assumptions about prior knowledge of terms or concepts. The text features multiple examples setting out realistic situations which illustrate legal analysis. The book also serves as a practical guide to law by relating the law as written to the realities of law as it is often applied. Sidebars supply related discussions of particular problems or practical dilemmas. From start to finish the author integrates criminal law theory, doctrine, and practice. The book is divided into five parts: Basic Structure and Principles, Act and Mens Rea, Crimes of Violence (homicide and rape), Inchoate Liability (attempt, accomplice and conspiracy), and Defenses (insanity, self-defense, intoxication).