Understanding Criminal Trial Procedures and the Importance of a Good Defense
Those who are charged with crimes need to understand the prosecutorial process. They also need to understand the importance of obtaining proper legal representation to ensure that their rights are protected throughout this process. The Port St. Lucie lawyers at The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A. offer a variety of criminal defense services.
Going to Trial
Preparatory to the trial, the defense attorney and possibly the prosecutor will decide whether it will be conducted before a jury or with only a judge presiding. If the case involves a jury, both sides will be given the chance to question each member for the purpose of identifying certain biases and, if so, to replace the person with someone else.
Both sides will also be given the opportunity to make opening statements, although the defense may refrain from any comments before going into the facts of the case. The body of the trial will include the presentation of evidence, the material being previously decided by the defense and the prosecution, and the testimony of witnesses brought in by both sides.
Near the end of the trial, the defense attorney may ask for a motion to dismiss the charge on grounds of insufficient evidence. Otherwise, both sides will then make their closing arguments, with the prosecution going last.
If the defendant is not acquitted, a unanimous verdict is normally required for a conviction. In the event of a guilty verdict, the judge may hand down the sentence immediately or at a later date. If the jury is “hung,” or unable to resolve the case, the judge may ask for a new trial.
The Importance of Defense Attorneys
Anyone who is charged with a crime can easily be overwhelmed by the complexities of the justice system. Under the circumstances, it is the defense attorney who can be the best advocate for a criminal defendant.
Jeffrey H. Garland has since 1981 been fighting for the rights of criminal defendants. Using his own expertise and a wide variety of experts in different fields, he has managed to challenge criminal complaints filed by prosecutors or the practices of law enforcement personnel, often obtaining acquittals or even a dismissal of the charges. He practices in both state and federal courts and handles cases ranging from homicide and drug offenses to tax evasion.
If you are facing criminal charges, you need an attorney who understands the system and knows how to protect your rights. This is why anyone charged with a crime in the Port St. Lucie area should contact the Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland at 772-489-2200.