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What To Expect if Your Misdemeanor Case Goes to Trial | Jake Brower, Attorney At Law |Criminal Lawyer | Criminal Defense |DUI Defense Attorney |Felony Arrests |3-Strike Cases |Santa Ana, Orange County, CA

Criminal Law

  • What To Expect if Your Misdemeanor Case Goes to Trial

    Posted Aug 29th, 2014 By in Criminal Law, Orange County Criminal News With | Comments Off on What To Expect if Your Misdemeanor Case Goes to Trial

    At the arraignment for a misdemeanor case, if the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, the attorney will choose a date to act as pre-trial. As discussed in previous blog posts, when the attorney returns to court on the prearranged pre-trial date, this is his or her opportunity to begin the process of negotiation with the prosecutor in terms of a plea bargain. A plea bargain is a compromise or agreement that results in the settlement of a client’s case outside of trial. While nearly 95% of all criminal misdemeanor cases are resolved during the plea bargain process, not all cases are. In the event that a case is not resolved during the plea bargain process, the client has the absolute right to have his or her case brought to trial.

    There are two types of trials that one can have. The first is a jury trial. A jury trial is when a 12 person “jury of peers” is carefully selected to hear the evidence and make a final decision of whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. The second is a court trial. A court trial is when the decision is left up to the judge. Both trials have advantages and disadvantages and a defendant and attorney can discuss which trial best suits the clients needs in private before the decision is made.

    In the event that a jury trial is chosen, the process is as follows. In the weeks leading up to trial, both lawyers work together to carefully handpick a jury. This process is known as “voir dire,” and consists of each attorney asking questions to potential jurors to determine whether the jurors will be fair and impartial.

    At the trial, both sides have the right to begin with an opening statement about the case. Following the opening statement, both cases will now be vigorously tested through a series of confrontations and cross-examinations of witnesses and their testimonies. In addition to witnesses, the client may choose to testify on his or her own behalf. When all evidence has been presented and both cases fairly represented, each attorney may give a closing statement.

    In order for the jury to make a final decision of guilty or not guilty, each of the 12 jurors must unanimously agree that the defendant did commit each and every element of the crime or crimes he or she is being accused of. If the jury cannot come to a unanimous decision, the judge will declare a mistrial. If a mistrial is declared, the prosecutor, as long as the judge allows it, is allowed to once again bring charges against the client and re-try the case.

    If the client is found not guilty by the jury, he or she will be released of the charges and deemed to be exonerated. If the jury finds the client guilty, he or she will be given a punishment decided by and deemed appropriate by the judge.

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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703