You never thought that you’d be facing charges and heading toward a criminal trial, but that’s what could happen thanks to the prosecutor’s determination. Now, you just want to know what to expect. Is a trial really like what you see on television? Should you worry about what you look like when you go in?
The reality is that criminal trials aren’t usually the way they appear in the media. Instead, there is a simple pattern that all trials follow. Every trial begins with choosing a jury. Then, during the trial, there are opening statements, witness testimonies and cross-examinations and closing arguments. Finally, the jury is given their instructions and left to deliberate. The jury will determine a verdict, and a judge will provide a sentence.
The potential penalties you face if you lose the case will be discussed with you before trial. If you lose, there will be a sentencing date set. Then, pre-sentence investigations take place, so the judge can issue a fair sentence based on the specifics of your case.
Should you be worried about your appearance in court?
In more ways than one, yes. You want to make sure you appear clean and professional in court. You also want to be sure that your expressions, emotions and responses are in line with what would be expected for the situation. Coming into court without preparing professional attire or acting out in the courtroom can hurt your case and influence your sentencing if you’re found guilty.
Your attorney will help you understand the trial process and what to expect. Our website has more on how to defend yourself and protect your rights when you’re facing charges.