If you are charged with a criminal offense, it may seem like the entire system is stacked against you. The police may use underhanded tactics to intimidate you into cooperating, the prosecutors might hang the threat of lengthy prison sentences over your head, and the judge may not seem like the “neutral arbiter” that they are required to be. When the criminal justice system appears to be so unfair to those charged with offenses, it is important to try to even the odds by retaining a dedicated Clearwater criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights.
The most powerful tool that criminal defense lawyers can utilize for their clients is the Jury Trial. This may seem counterintuitive since only a very small percentage of criminal cases ever actually proceed to trial. But it is not the jury trial itself that evens the odds, but the threat of a jury trial that can help get you the best result on your case. Too many criminal lawyers take cases with the intention of encouraging their clients to take a plea deal. When attacking a case with that mindset, defense teams are limited in what they can achieve for their clients. By preparing each and every case as if it were going to proceed to trial, our Clearwater criminal defense lawyers can increase the odds of a reduction of the charges or even a dismissal of the entire case.Jury Trials in Florida
When determining whether a jury trial is the correct way to proceed with your case, it is important to understand exactly what a jury trial entails. An experienced Clearwater criminal defense lawyer will have extensive trial experience and will be able to guide you towards the best strategic decision for your case. Jury trials will typically begin after an extended discovery and negotiation period. In the months leading up to a trial, the prosecution is required to turn over evidence and documents that they intend to use during the course of the trial. Often your lawyer will want to take depositions of witnesses and conduct an investigation of their own to uncover evidence to support your defense.
A jury trial will begin in earnest with the selection of a jury. A pool of 30 to 100 jurors will be called in depending on the type of case. During the jury selection process, the prosecutor and your defense lawyer will question the potential jurors to determine whether they will be fair jurors for your case. A skilled criminal lawyer can work this jury pool to ensure that the jurors selected will be favorable to you. The state, defense, and judge will then go through the jurors end up with six jurors and one alternate.
Once the jurors have been seated, the trial begins with opening statements. The prosecution and defense are allowed to give the jurors a summarization of the facts they might expect to hear about during the trial. Then, the state is required to present evidence with the intent of proving their case beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. When the state has finished putting on their case, the defense has the opportunity to present evidence, but is not required to. The expertise of a dedicated Clearwater Criminal defense lawyer can help you make the difficult decisions of what evidence to put on and what to withhold during a trial. Often it is best to make the state prove the case instead of trying to prove your own innocence.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have extensive trial experience that they are ready and willing to put to work for you. The threat of losing a case at trial can force the prosecutors to the negotiating table and can result in excellent results for your case. If you want to consult with a legal team that will work toward your best interests, call us today at 727-897-5413.