What is a criminal trial all about?

During a criminal trial, which is a legal procedure, the prosecution attempts to provide sufficient evidence to prove that a person accused of a crime is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. During the trial, the prosecutor, who works for the state, will call witnesses and offer evidence against the accused. The accused has the right to have his own Orange County criminal defense lawyer who will fight to prove that the client is innocent of the charges. After both sides; prosecution and defense, have completed their presentations, the matter is decided by a judge or jury, either finding the accused innocent or guilty.

When a person is accused of committing a crime they are asked to plead either innocent or guilty. In some cases the accused will plead guilty of a lesser crime which is the result of a plea bargain. Regardless of whether the accused pleads innocent or guilty, the case must go to trial.

The trial may be before a judge or a jury. If the case is tried in front of a judge, one man will make the decision, when the trial is in front of a jury, a group of peers must make a unanimous decision regarding guilt or innocence. The jury is chosen before the trial begins and after the attorneys have had an opportunity to determine whether they are biased one way or the other.

The trial will start with the prosecution making an opening statement, telling the judge or jury how they plan on proving the guilt of the accused. The Orange County criminal defense lawyer is then given the opportunity to make his opening statement telling the jury how he hopes to prove the innocence of his client.

The prosecution calls his witnesses to the stand and questions them, when the prosecution is finished, he turns the witness over to the defense who questions them as well; this phase is called “the cross.” When the prosecution is finished with their witnesses the defense will call theirs as well as present their evidence of innocence. The prosecution is allowed to cross-examine the defense witnesses.

Upon completion of these proceedings, the prosecution and defense make their closing remarks, the jury is given instructions and eventually a verdict will be handed down.

If you have been accused of a crime you will need an Orange County criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court. You are invited to contact The H&M Law Firm to support you in court.

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