March 16, 2015
A Board Certified Lawyer Specializing In Criminal Jury Trials
A trial by a jury of one’s peers is a cornerstone of our justice system. Though many criminal cases are resolved without a jury trial, there are number of reasons that a case may end up in court. Some of the most common include the following:
- The prosecution fails to offer a plea bargain or offers one with terms that are unacceptable to the defendant.
- The defendant is adamant in maintaining his or her innocence and refuses to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
- The prosecution has a weak case and the defendant and his or her legal counsel believe that they will prevail at trial.
A criminal trial is a complicated legal matter, subject to various rules that are based in case law, state statutes, constitutional law, and local court rules. As a result, it is extremely important for anyone who is accused of a criminal offense to discuss their options with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Florida Jury Trial Process
Jury trials in Florida go through a number of different stages. The major events in most jury trials are as follows:
- Arraignment – formal charging
- Discovery – both sides are required to provide information to the other
- Motion Hearings – these are for legal issues to be resolved before trial
- Status Conferences – the court always wants to know the status of a pending case
- Docket Day – the last day to change a plea of Not Guilty to Guilty or No Contest
- Jury Selection – a venire panel of prospective jurors is questioned by the judge and lawyers
- Opening Statement – each side has an opportunity to explain what the evidence will show
- Direct Examination – the side calling a witness asks non-leading questions
- Cross Examination – the opposing side asks leading questions
- Redirect – the party calling the witness can ask follow up questions
- Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal – a common motion to ask the court to acquit prior to verdict
- Closing Argument – each side is permitted to argue before the jury
- Jury Instructions – the jury is given instructions by the judge
- Verdict – the jury decides and the verdict is published to the parties in open court
Fortunately, an attorney can help a defendant at every stage of a criminal and in some cases may even be able to prevent a formal proceeding from ever commencing.
Contact A Florida Jury Trial Lawyer Today To Schedule A Free Consultation
People who are facing allegations of criminal misconduct in Florida may be subject to severe legal penalties. In addition, existence of a criminal conviction on your record can negatively impact your life for years and can even affect your ability to hold a job. Board certified criminal defense specialist Stephen G. Cobb has been representing individuals accused of crimes for 25 years and has skill and experience required to bring your case to the most favorable outcome possible. Call our office today at 850-423-0035 to schedule a free consultation.