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The Process of a Criminal Case: The Trial

After an arraignment will be the trial. In a criminal case, defendants have a right for their case to be tried by a jury of their peers. Prior to the trial, the defendant will need to choose if they want a jury or court trial. It is more common that a defendant will request a trial by jury, but in some cases, the Pasadena criminal attorney may suggest that the alternative is used. In the United States, all people are presumed to be innocent until they are proven guilty by trial. The prosecution will then have the burden of proof to convince the court or jury that the defendant is guilty.

In a trial for a misdemeanor, the trial will need to start within 30 days of the arraignment or plea when the individual is being held in custody. When they are not in custody the trial will not need to start until within 45 days. In a trial for a felony, section 1382 of the Penal Code specifies when the trial will need to begin. The prosecutor in the case will need to file the Information within 15 days from the preliminary hearing. The trial will then need to begin within 60 days from the arraignment for the Information. Depending on the situation, a defendant may choose to waive their right to a speedy trial so that it does not need to take place within the 60 day period of time.

Prior to the trial beginning, the lawyers will both be involved in the selection process of the jury. When the trial has begun, opening statements can be given if the lawyers choose to do this, and this will take place before any evidence or witnesses are presented. Once the evidence has all been presented to the court, closing arguments will be given. After this, the verdict will be given.