Overview of the Criminal Trial Process
2 years ago by Brian
The criminal trial process in Minnesota is extremely complex and consists of numerous steps, including jury selection, opening statements, witness testimony, cross-examination, closing arguments, jury instructions, and jury deliberation. It is extremely important that you have knowledgeable legal counsel representing you throughout the entire trial process.
During a criminal trial that takes place in Woodbury, the fact finder – usually a jury – is tasked with considering all of the evidence that is presented at trial and deciding whether the accused defendant committed a particular criminal offense. When it comes to proving guilt, the state prosecutor must satisfy this burden beyond a reasonable doubt – and if one element of an offense is not proven, the jury should not convict a defendant.
Although the defendant in a criminal case need not prove anything, the defendant has the opportunity to refute evidence that the state prosecutor admits. If you have been charged with committing a criminal offense, the Woodbury criminal defense lawyers at JS Defense, PA., can help you decide whether it might be the right choice to take your criminal case to trial. If so, we can assist you throughout every step of the criminal trial process. Please give us a call today to find out more about how we can assist you throughout your criminal legal matter.
Steps of a Criminal Jury Trial
A Minnesota criminal jury trial consists of several steps. The first step at trial is to select the jury members who will hear and decide the case. During the jury selection process, often known as voir dire, the attorneys and sometimes the judge will ask the potential jurors questions that may expose predispositions or prejudices regarding the litigants or pending trial issues.
Once the jury has been seated, the attorneys will typically make their opening statements. Although opening statements are not considered evidence in the case, they provide a roadmap for what the evidence is going to show, in the attorney’s opinion.
Following opening statements, the prosecution will begin its case-in-chief. The prosecutor will examine his or her witnesses, and the defense attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses. Once all of the prosecution’s witnesses have been called and examined, the prosecution will rest. The defense will then begin its case-in-chief.
Once all of the evidence has been presented, the judge will read the instructions regarding the law, which the jurors must apply when deciding the case. The attorneys will then make their closing arguments (which, like opening statements, are not evidence), and the jury members will deliberate and decide the case.
Talk with a Woodbury Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
The legal team at JS Defense, PA., can help you decide whether you should take your criminal legal matter to trial. We can also help you anticipate what you should expect at trial and will be present at trial to assist you throughout every step of the process.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Woodbury criminal defense attorney, please call us today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online for more information.