The Process Of A Criminal Trial

Criminal trials take on a structured format that normally includes six phases. If you are facing criminal charges you should consider hiring a criminal lawyer in San Antonio, TX to help fight for your case.


Phases of a Trial


The Jury is Chosen: Before a criminal trial can begin, a jury must be selected. For a criminal trial, potential jurors are questioned by the judge to determine their possible stance on the trial and if they have any potential predispositions regarding the case. The defense and prosecution are also given the opportunity to exclude certain jurors before the final panel is selected.

Opening Statements: Both the prosecution and the defense team will deliver an opening statement to the courtroom. The prosecutor represents the government and therefore must prove the filed charged and propose that the defendant is guilty. The defense then shares their interpretation of the facts and their starting argument.


Testimony and Cross-Examination: During the testimony, witnesses will be called to the stand to undergo questioning. The team that has called the witness does a “direct” examination to gain information by asking questions. The other team will then conduct a cross-examination of the witness. The process will continue until all witnesses have been called to the stand.


Closing Arguments: This is both the defense’s and the prosecutor’s chance to sum up their arguments from the trial. The closing arguments are the final opportunity for both sides to convince the jury of their pleas.


Jury Instruction: The judge will inform the jury of legal standards that are relevant to the case at hand. The legal standards discussed are chosen by the judge in relation to the evidence presented during the trial.


Deliberation and Verdict: Once all is concluded, the jury will deliberate and come to an agreement on the defendant. The foreperson of the jury will inform the judge once a decision is reached and the judge will announce the final verdict to the courtroom.


For help with a criminal trial, contact Jesse Hernandez and his criminal lawyers in San Antonio, TX at (210) 807-8656 for a free consultation.

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