If you decide to take your criminal case to trial, the following is a very brief overview of what you will experience in the trial process:
Pretrial motions – Before you ever enter the courtroom, your attorney will be filing motions1 with the court to keep out certain evidence and to combat any pretrial motions filed by the prosecutor.
Jury selection – Choosing a fair jury is an extremely complex process. It involves asking questions of members of a jury pool and eliminating any jurors who may be biased against you or unfavorable for any other reason.
Opening statements – The prosecutor and your attorney each get their chance to address the jury and present an introduction to the evidence they will hear in the case.
Witnesses and evidence – First, the prosecutor will get to put witnesses on the stand and introduce evidence to try to prove all of the elements of the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine those witnesses. Then, your attorney will present evidence both in your defense and to challenge the prosecutor’s evidence. The prosecutor will get the opportunity to prosecute your witnesses, as well.
Closing statements – Following the presentation of evidence, both the prosecutor and your defense lawyer have the chance to address the jury directly one last time. This is the chance for your lawyer to recap all of the evidence and make legal arguments as to why the evidence demonstrates that you are not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Deliberations – After hearing instruction on the law from the judge, the jury will head back to the jury room to deliberate on whether or not you are guilty or not guilty and will return to the courtroom to read their verdict. In all but death penalty determinations, the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure2 require a unanimous jury and, if they cannot agree, the judge can declare a hung jury and you may have to go through the entire trial process again.
Contact a Highly Skilled Ft. Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The trial process is long and complex and you need a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience handling your case. Call the Khonsari Law Group at 727-269-5300 for help.