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An Overview of the Pennsylvania Criminal Trial Preparation Process

Each individual situation requires careful consideration before deciding whether to accept a guilty plea or go to trial. It is hard to identify every aspect that may be significant in reaching this decision without knowing the specifics of your case.  Discuss your situation with a certified criminal defense lawyer.

Before making such a crucial decision, you should consider some factors.

How to Choose a Jury

In a criminal trial, jury selection comes first. The court will choose a jury pool, and both the prosecution and the defense will have the chance to interrogate and dismiss possible members of the jury pool.

Declarations of Intent

Opening comments from the prosecution and defense will take place once the jury has been picked. We’ll hear from the prosecution first, then the defense. 

Exhibits Presented

Both sides will submit their facts and arguments to the jury throughout the trial. Any and any evidence that helps their case, such as testimonies from witnesses and tangible objects. Your attorney will conduct a cross-examination of prosecution witnesses and offer proof in your favor.

Contributions Finales

The trial’s last phase consists of closing arguments from the prosecution and the defense. The purpose of these closing speeches is to summarize the facts and persuade the jury.

Discussion and Decision by the Jury

The jury will deliberate and make a decision following the conclusion of all arguments. For a guilty or not guilty finding, the jury must reach a unanimous consensus. If the jury cannot agree on a verdict, a mistrial may be declared, also referred to as a “hung jury.”

Sentencing

After a jury finds you guilty of a crime, the next step is sentencing. The judge will take several factors into account when deciding how to punish you. Your past criminal record and the crime’s severity are both very important. This information helps the court determine an appropriate punishment that fits the crime and considers any past criminal behavior. 

Appeal

You have the option to challenge a guilty conviction in court. You have the right to have a counsel submit an appeal on your behalf if they believe that your trial was flawed.

In sum, a criminal trial in Pennsylvania may be difficult to navigate and nerve-wracking for everyone involved. Having a solid understanding of the procedure and consulting with a competent defense attorney is important if you want to win at trial.

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