If you are ever charged with a crime, there are several different ways your case may go. Hopefully, the charges will be dropped before things get too complicated. If it looks like you are going to receive a conviction, you may wish to enter a plea and avoid a court trial. However, there are situations where you may want to have your case heard in a court of law.
Should you decide to go the trial route, there are several steps to the process that you can expect:
- Jury selection. During the jury selection phase, it is customary that the judge, as well as attorneys for both the defendant and the plaintiff, question potential jurors. Through this process a jury is chosen.
- The opening statement. Both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney each give their perspectives of the case's facts.
- The testimony of witnesses and cross-examination. This is the stage where evidence is presented by the prosecution. The goal is to make a convincing case that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense may then provide its own evidence as well as challenge the prosecution?s evidence.
- Closing arguments. This is essentially a summation of the case and the final chance for both sides to communicate with the jury before deliberations.
Subsequent to these phases are jury instruction followed by jury deliberation and verdict. At this point, the decision is in the hands of the jury. But the above listed steps are dominated by the attorneys.
The preparation and presentation of a criminal defense made by an attorney can have an impact on the outcome of a trial. As such, when you are facing criminal charges you may wish to seek the services of a Louisiana attorney who can advise you on what may be your best course of action when standing trial in the state. The attorney then may act as your representative should your case go to trial.