Law Research Guides: Criminal Procedure

The study and research of criminal procedure centers on the constitutional limitations imposed upon the Federal and State governments in the investigation and prosecution of crimes.  Specifically, court (often U.S. Supreme Court) interpretation of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution set the standards of criminal procedure.  In addition to the standards shaped by constitutional interpretation, non-constitutional enactments such as the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and state rules of criminal procedure (Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure) also outline standards that control criminal investigations and prosecutions.

In sum, criminal research will focus research of relevant enacted criminal procedure rules, relevant criminal procedure statutes and on constitutional case law research.  The following guide will highlight the major sources need to conduct research in criminal procedure.  This research guide is a selective overview of print resources in the Law Library and is not comprehensive.  Most resources listed, and more not listed here, are available online or through subscription databases. 

 

Last Updated Jan. 2016 A.J.B.; Rev. June 2013. V.T.; Created June 2006. D.H.

 Secondary Sources

For those unfamiliar with Children and the Law, a secondary source is a good way to get started.   A general introduction to the field can be found in American Jurisprudence, Corpus Juris Secundum, and Florida Jur 2d, under the topic, "Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure," or “Criminal Procedure.”  Also, consider consulting a preeminent treatise such as:

  • Criminal Procedure, 4th Ed., 7 vols., by Wayne R. LaFave, Jerold H. Israel, Nancy J. King, & Orin S. Kerr (2015).  Westlaw.  Organized by topic, tracking the typical chronological order of a criminal investigation and prosecution.  It addresses constitutional limitations, federal criminal procedure, and a significant amount of state criminal procedure, with limited focus on state rules.  Receives regular updates.
  • Federal Practice and Procedure (also called Wright & Miller), 4th Ed., by Charles Alan Wright, (1969-current).  Westlaw.   Organized according to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, in volumes 1-3D.  Each rule is printed followed by an extended commentary and explanation of the rule.  This set contains many case law citations in the footnotes.  Receives regular updates.
  • Moore’s Federal Practice, 3rd Ed., by James W. Moore, (1997-current).  LexisNexis.  Organized according to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, in volumes 24-28. Each chapter of the treatise covers a separate rule.  The footnotes reference case law for each issue.  Receives regular updates.
  • Florida Criminal Practice and Procedure, 3rd Ed., 2 vols., by Jenifer M. Davis, (2014-current). LexisNexis. Step-by-step guidance on procedural issues and topics relevant to Florida criminal practice and providing references to other resources. Includes checklists and forms, references to related cases and analytical content, and guidance from a consultative board of Florida practitioners and judges.

 Rules

The U.S.C. and U.S.C.A. both list criminal procedure rules in their General Indexes with the term "Rules of Criminal Procedure" or “Crimes and Offenses.”  The U.S.C.S. lists criminal procedure rules under “Crimes and Criminal Procedure” in its General Index.  Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are printed in the following collections:

For additional information, approved amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure are available online: Amendments Approved by the Rules Committees - Pending Judicial Conference Review and Amendments Adopted by the Supreme Court Pending Congressional Review, United States Courts.

Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure are printed in:

 Case Law

As stated above, the best way to locate case law relevant to criminal procedure is to use secondary resources. Most criminal procedure treatises, hornbooks and commercial outlines will provide citations to the relevant cases.  The second best way is to check the annotations to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure from the U.S.C.A. (Core A Collection & Westlaw) or the U.S.C.S. (Core A Collection & LexisNexis).  Look up the relevant rule.  In the U.S.C.A. check the “Notes of Decision,” in the annotations.  In the U.S.C.S. check the “Interpretive Notes and Decisions.”  To conduct research from scratch use a digest or index such as:

More information on case law research is provided in the University of Miami Law Library Research Guide entitled Cases: How to Find Them.  For Florida cases, see West’s Florida Digest, 2d.

 Periodicals

The following journals are all held by the library and located in the Anglo-American Periodicals section, shelved alphabetically, by title. To find these titles at the library, go to our catalog Baron.  Many of these journals are also available on Westlaw, LexisNexis, HeinOnline, or Online.

 Florida Secondary Sources

 International Secondary Sources

 Selected Books from the UM Law Library

 Other Research Guides

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QUICKLINKS

Training
Library Hours
Library Staff
Ask a Librarian

ACCESSING DATABASES FROM OFF-CAMPUS OR USING WIRELESS
Instructions: Video  |  Text

HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS

Library Reference: 305-284-3585
Library Circulation: 305-284-3563
Automated Operator: 305-284-2250
Copy Center: 305-284-3272
Computer Help Desk: 305-284-5297

 

QUOTE
"Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other."
- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian