What to Expect During a Criminal Trial? – Guest Post

Criminal Trial

In a criminal trial, the prosecution provides evidence and witnesses in a courtroom to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of any criminal offense.

Every year, there are tons of criminal trials. Unfortunately, the need to exercise your right to a courtroom trial can come to you at any moment in your life. Being knowledgeable about it can save you a lot of hassle.

A defense lawyer is vital in a criminal trial. Websites like www.criminalattorneyfortworth.com offer plenty of resources for the average Joe to understand more about criminal law and get assistance in hiring an experienced lawyer.

Stages of Legal Procedure

The specific procedure may vary depending on the jurisdiction and legal system. But to give you a general overview of it, these are the general set of procedures in a criminal trial.

1. Arraignment

The defendant or accused is formally informed about the charges pressed against them. The defendant or accused enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The judge may decide on bail for the accused at this stage.

2. Pre-trial Motions

Both the prosecution and defendant may register motions before the actual trial for the purpose of addressing legal issues. Motions involving the dismissal of charges, suppressing evidence, or changing venues.

3. Jury Selection

Potential jurors are questioned by the defense and prosecution to ensure a fair and just trial. Certain jurors can be excluded based on peremptory challenges and challenges for cause.

4. Opening Statements

The prosecution and defense give an outline of their case and their point of view in their opening statements. The prosecution announces the charges pressed and the evidence that follows. The defendant outlines their strategy, evidence, and witnesses.

5. Presentation of Evidence

Evidence and witnesses are provided in the specified order in the courtroom.

  • Your case is nothing but a fairytale in a courtroom without evidence and witnesses to support your alibis and case.
  • The prosecution calls out their witnesses and presents their evidence in court first.
  • The defense is given the authority to cross-examine the witnesses and evidence provided by the prosecution.
  • Then, it’s time for the defendant to call out witnesses and evidence, and similarly, the prosecution can cross-examine their evidence and witnesses.

6. Cross Examination

Both the defendant and prosecution have the authority to question and cross-examine the evidence and witnesses provided to ensure their credibility and reliability.

7. Closing Arguments

Both sides give their closing statements summarizing their point of view of the case and how the jury should decide in their favor once all the evidence is provided and cross-examined by both sides.

Criminal Trial

8. Jury Instructions

The judge provides knowledge of the law about the case to the jurors. Some instructions are given to the jury to assist in deliberations.

9. Jury Deliberations

The jury discusses the evidence and witnesses provided by both sides to reach a verdict about the case.

In non-jury trials, a judge decides whether the defendant is guilty or innocent based on the evidence and witnesses.

10. Verdict

The jury shares the decision it made with the court. If the defendant is found guilty, another guilty hearing is scheduled.

11. Sentencing

A judge decides the punishment for the guilty. Punishment can take different forms, like fines, probation, community service, and imprisonment.


A criminal trial is a complex legal procedure with different stages. From pretrial motions to closing statements in court, every step plays a vital role in deciding the outcome of that case.

Evidence and witnesses are the most significant parts of the case. The side with more evidence and witnesses to support its claim has the advantage. To be knowledgeable about the justice system and legal process, it’d be wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer.