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How Does a Trial Work | Affordable Criminal Defense

How Does a Trial Work | Affordable Criminal Defense

Affordable Criminal Defense Lawyer Florida

Your Right to a Speedy Trial

Every person who is charged with a crime has the inherent right to a speedy trial. Exactly what that entails of course depends on the jurisdiction, but in most circumstances a defendant can decide to put off a trial so they have more time to prepare their case. Keep in mind, if a defendant decides to invoke this privilege, at no further point in his or her trial, can a defendant claim that was the reason they lost their case.


On the other hand, if a defendant decides to push forward swiftly with the proceedings, the prosecutor’s office can abolish the charges if it feels it cannot make an adequate defense.


Are a Bench Trial and Jury Trial The Same Thing?

When a trial is reviewed by a judge only, it is referred to as a bench trial because the judge is the only party that examines all facets of the case. In a jury trial, the judge is only responsible for monitoring all the legal issues while the jury weighs the evidence. Both sides of a case can request a jury trial, but in most cases the prosecution would prefer a bench proceeding.


Are Jury Selection and Voir Dire Similar?

In the scenario that a trial is determined to be involving a jury, both the prosecution and defense are involved in choosing the members of the jury. During this process, potential jurors are investigated and interviewed by the judge in addition to the lawyers involved with the case. This is what is referred to as voir dire and is implemented to decide which potential juror members show the least amount of bias. Both sides in the case can try to prove a potential jury shows bias therefore removing them from the jury pool and they can also use what is known as a peremptory challenge to eliminate a potential juror from the selection process without showing any cause.


How Does a Trial Work?

When a trial commences, the jury will be provided with the process they should engage in to determine the facts. They are reminded the defendant is not considered guilty until the verdict is handed down and just because they feel automatically someone may be innocent, this should not alter how they enter into the deliberative process.

The next step will be the lawyers opening the trial with their respective statements. The prosecution receives the first opportunity to incorporate witnesses in their case with the defense following. There are situations where the defense teams decides not to use any witnesses because the prosecution has already instituted all the relevant parties in their presentation of the case or because their premise is the prosecution has not presented enough evidence for the defendant to be found guilty.

Once the presentation of the defendant’s case has ended, the prosecution is allowed to call more witnesses, implement more evidence or fine tune their argument based on what the defense team has entered into court. There are instances where the defense is allowed the same opportunity.

The next part of the process is for the lawyers to sum up all the relevant parts of their respective cases by engaging in closing arguments. When this is complete, the jury is once again advised on how to conduct their work and the case is turned over to them for their decision. There are times when the defense will enter an inquiry on whether they can proceed with a directed verdict of not guilty, which simply means the only decision a jury can conclude is not guilty. This type of action is rarely afforded to the defense and in situations where the jury cannot decide on innocence or guilt, the judge will relieve the jury of their duties. The prosecution is then faced with the reality of calling for a new trial or dropping all charges against the defendant.


What If a Jury Comes Back With a Not Guilty Verdict?

When this happens, the entire proceeding is usually terminated. Within the legal system in this country, the prosecution is not allowed to request an appeal with a defendant is found not guilty. There are some nations this can occur in.


What About When A Guilty Verdict is Returned?

There are many occasions a defendant is accused of multiple crimes and the jury must decide whether they should render a guilty verdict in all of these charges. They also have the right to determine if a defendant should be charged in a less serious nature.

Once a defendant is found guilty, he or she may file other actions such as a motion for a new proceeding or an appeal. In most cases, new trials are not allowed by the court.


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