Criminal Procedures

Trial Process

How do criminal trials proceed?

Criminal trials proceed like civil trials in the sense that there are opening statements by both attorneys. The prosecution then presents its case-in-chief with the defense being able to cross-examine witnesses. After the prosecution finishes its case or rests, the defense has the opportunity to ask for a directed verdict of acquittal or motion to dismiss. Often, this is not granted. The defense then presents its case. After the conclusion of the case-in-chief, the parties then make closing arguments to the jury. Then, the judge will read jury instructions to help the jurors understand their duty and apply the law properly.


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