What to Expect at a Criminal Trial

A criminal trial is a formal legal proceeding where the prosecution presents evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defendant has the opportunity to present a defense. The trial process typically involves several key stages:

  1. Jury Selection: In cases where a jury trial is warranted, potential jurors are selected through a process called voir dire. Attorneys from both sides question prospective jurors to ensure a fair and impartial jury is chosen.
  2. Opening Statements: The prosecution and defense attorneys deliver opening statements outlining their respective cases and the evidence they plan to present. The prosecution has the burden of proof in all criminal cases. This means that, with some exceptions, the prosecutor must prove to the jury or judge beyond a reasonable doubt that you as a defendant are guilty in order to secure a conviction at trial.
  3. Presentation of Evidence: The prosecution presents witnesses, physical evidence, and other exhibits to support its case. The defense has the opportunity to cross-examine prosecution witnesses and present its own evidence and witnesses to challenge the prosecution’s case.
  4. Closing Arguments: Attorneys for both sides deliver closing arguments summarizing the evidence presented during the trial and urging the jury to find in favor of their respective positions.
  5. Jury Deliberation: The jury deliberates in private to reach a verdict based on the evidence presented and the instructions given by the judge.
  6. Verdict: The jury returns to the courtroom to announce its verdict, finding the defendant either guilty or not guilty of the charges.

Navigating a criminal trial requires legal expertise and experience to effectively advocate for the defendant’s rights and build a strong defense. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in criminal trials and know many of the prosecutors and judges involved in the process. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, contact our law offices today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.