Criminal Cases by Vincent Rivera
With the criminal case generally have two options:
You can fight the case.
You can try and settle the case.
If you try and settle the case that’s probably going to end up with you either pleaing guilty or entering into a diversion agreement.
If you decide to fight the case you’re going to be asserting both legal defenses and factual defenses.
A legal defense is going to be asserted before trial and it’s going to be decided by the judge.
So for example a motion to suppress your statement claiming that your statement was obtained under duress. Or a motion to suppress a search claiming that they didn’t have probable cause to search you.
Motions to dismiss:
Motion to dismiss would be something like
a motion to dismiss for double jeopardy.
a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
But these are questions that the judge is going to answer. After the judge has addressed the legal issues raised in your case.
The next step is it’s going to be moving forward to trial.
Now trial a jury is going to determine the factual issues of the case. Basically whether or not you’re guilty or innocent.
Trial is a long process it starts off with jury selection and opening statements, then the government presents their case, the defense presents their case and then closing arguments.
Let’s unpack that because there’s a lot that’s going to happen in that process so let’s start with jury selection.
Your attorney really begins trying the case at jury selection. They’re going to begin presenting the themes and the ideas that are going to lead to the jury ultimately concluding that you’re not guilty. That’s where the seeds are going to be planted and they’re going to start coming to terms with self defense.
Things with reasonableness if a mistaken identity is a case all these things are going to start being addressed during the jury selection process. After jury selection we’re going to move on to opening statements.
Opening statements is basically a summary of what you think is going to happen in the case.
After opening statements the government’s going to proceed with their case in chief they’re going to bring in all their witnesses against you during that time we have the opportunity to cross-examine after the government’s case-in-chief.
It’s going to be our opportunity to put on any witnesses that we want to put forward. Maybe we have an alibi witness, maybe we have a witness who was there when this happened. That’s going to be our opportunity to put forth that evidence to the jury. Then lastly we’re going to have our closing arguments. Where we’re going to tell the jury why you are not guilty.
If you choose to fight a case and you do take it to trial and you lose the game is not up.
There’s still another level which is appeal. Now at appeal the appellate court is going to address all legal issues from your case. This is why it’s very important to have an attorney who knows how to raise these issues in the first place and then preserve them in order for you to be able to appeal them down the line.