When charged with any criminal offense from a minor misdemeanor up to a punishable by life felony, the odds may seem like they are stacked against you. In fact, the system that pioneered the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” is constantly being eroded by new oppressive laws and biased judges and prosecutors. As criminal justice moves into the future, it appears that defendants will have less and less protections and advantages when dealing with criminal charges. Luckily, the State and National constitutions have embedded the right to a jury trial in their documents. The guaranteed right to a jury trial is one of the most powerful advantages that a criminal defendant has. And if you are charged with any criminal offense, you should seek out a Sarasota criminal lawyer with extensive trial experience to help build your defense.
Prosecutors and police seem to have all of the advantages in the criminal justice system. They are allowed to lie to an extent and often abuse their positions of power in order to get what they want instead of playing on a level playing field. There is one aspect of the system however, where defendants retain an advantage. That is in the jury trial. Defense teams have an advantage in trial because the burden lies with the government prosecuting the case to prove the charges beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. Unlike in other countries’ systems, American criminal defendants do not have to actively defend themselves, prove themselves innocent, or even testify in their own defense. This system allows skilled lawyers to exploit evidentiary issues and other trial problems to their clients’ benefit even if the case seems weak. The power of the jury trial makes it critical for any defendant to seek out a lawyer unafraid to try a case.Jury Trial Procedures
In order to determine if proceeding with a trial is right for your case, it is important to understand all of the components of a jury trial. The first portion of a trial is to obtain a jury. This process is called the voir dire. During voir dire, a large group of potential jurors are brought to the courtroom and questioned by the judge and the lawyers. The defense, prosecution, and the judge will then remove certain jurors from the pool until six jurors remain to hear the case. Many defense lawyers consider jury selection the most critical portion of the case, as the right jury can make or break either the defense or the prosecution’s case. Because of the importance of jury selection, it is important to choose a Sarasota criminal lawyer with experience picking effective juries.
Following jury selection, the attorneys from the state and the defense are permitted to present an opening statement preparing the jurors for the case. Lawyers are not allowed to make arguments during this phase, but only to present their version of the facts to the jurors. Once opening statements are complete, the State is required to present its case. They may call witnesses and present evidence in order to prove each and every element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Once the state’s case is closed, the defense may put on a case or may try to poke holes in the state’s case. Which route to take will often depend on what happens during trial, so it is important to hire a Sarasota defense lawyer who can think and act on his feet.Speak To Our Lawyers Today
The lawyers at Hanlon Law have extensive trial experience that can make all the difference in your case. We prepare every case as if it were going to eventually go to trial which makes us more prepared than many other defense lawyers. Our vast trial experience means that we are rarely surprised by moves made by the prosecution. Consult with us about your case today at 941.462.1789.