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What happens during the criminal trial process?

When you are facing criminal charges, there are several different things that you have to think about. One of the things you have to think about is the possibility of going to trial. Understanding some points about a criminal trial can help you to make a determination about whether you want your case to go to trial or not.

What is a trial by jury?

A trial by jury means that people from the community will hear the evidence of the case and make a determination about whether the evidence shows you are guilty or not. The jury is determined by a specific selection process that involves the defense team and the prosecution. Each side can object to potential jurors based on several different factors. Some types of objections might be limited to a specific number for each side.

What happens during the trial?

Both sides make an opening statement at the start of the criminal trial. This outlines the case that each side will make. The trial then moves to the testimony phase during which each side can call witnesses and present evidence. When one side calls a witness, they can question the witness. The other side then has the right to cross-examine, or question, the witness. After this phase, each side makes a closing statement that outlines what they said. The jury then makes the decision about how the case is resolved.

As you go through the trial process, you should understand your rights and responsibilities. You must ensure that you get your questions answered so that you know what options you have and how different things might impact your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Criminal Trial Overview," accessed March 03, 2017

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