The Criminal Trial Process in Ohio
During a criminal trial in Columbus, all of the chips are placed on the table. Therefore, is essential to hire an aggressive, knowledgeable Ohio criminal defense lawyer to actively pursue your case and work with you to achieve the best possible defense under the circumstances. Generally, the criminal trial is the best alternative to a failed plea agreement. It is the defendant’s choice whether he or she wishes to have a bench or jury trial. In Ohio, a bench trial is conducted before a judge, who decides the questions of fact and law at issue. A jury trial involves the resolution of factual issues by the jury, not the judge. In a jury trial, the defendant is entitled to a panel of eight to twelve jurors depending upon the seriousness of the criminal charges to decide questions of fact. The judge’s role is to administer court procedures and determine the admissibility of evidence.
Columbus Criminal Trial Lawyer
It is important to hire a knowledgeable attorney to represent you at your criminal trial in Columbus, and the surrounding areas in Ohio, including Delaware, Dublin, Westerville, London, West Jefferson, Newark, Lancaster, Circleville, Pickerington and Ashville. Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm is knowledgeable in all areas of Columbus criminal law will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Call the Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation today.
Trial Burdens of Proof
One of the core principles of any criminal defense is that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution has the very heavy burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that in the presence of any reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors, the defendant cannot be found guilty of the alleged crime for which she or he has been charged. During the trial, the prosecution’s heavy burden of proof is truly put to the test. If the prosecution fails to meet its burden, the case will be dismissed. The defendant’s burden of proof on certain motions or claims of defense, such as entrapment, is by a preponderance of the evidence, or the greater weight of the evidence. The defense generally has no burden to prove anything at trial, unless it chooses to put on a defense or some form of justification.
Opening Statement at Trial in Columbus
One of the most crucial elements of the trial is the opening statement. This provides the defense attorney with an opportunity to gain the jury’s favor and lay the groundwork of the criminal defense. The defense attorney also has a chance to explain the high burden of proof necessary for a finding of guilt – the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Trial objectives are generally approached in the following manner:
- A summary of evidence to be presented at trial in a logical, understandable manner;
- A description of the main issues to be resolved;
- An explanation of the legal theories of the case;
- An establishment of the strong points of the defense;
- A demonstration of the inherent weaknesses of the prosecution’s case;
- Establishment of a sense of credibility with regard to the defendant and his or her defense team; and
- Discrediting of the prosecution’s evidence.
Presentation of Evidence at Trial
During this stage of the trial, the prosecution and defense present evidence in support of their respective arguments. First, the prosecution will present its case-in-chief, according to the federal and Ohio rules of evidence, which may include a variety of exhibits and witness testimonies. The defense will be able to cross-examine each prosecution witness and challenge the admissibility of evidence contained in the exhibits. The defense may also present exhibits and testimony favorable to the defendant, which also will be subject to cross-examination and admissibility challenges by the prosecution. Depending upon the facts of the case and the issues presented, the trial could last from days to months.
Trial Closing Arguments
During this stage, the prosecution and defense present an overview of the evidence. The defense attorney has a last chance to make a favorable impression with the jury and win over each juror’s mind and heart. The closing statement should be powerful and impassioned, such that the jury has a not guilty verdict in mind, even before entering into deliberations.
Franklin County Trial Jury Instructions
The judge provides the jury with guidelines and instructions as to its responsibilities in applying the law to the facts of the particular case during jury deliberations.
The Jury Verdict
This is the jury’s decision based on the facts and issues of the case. Once the jury reaches a verdict, the members of the jury will return to the courtroom and give the decision to the bailiff. Upon a guilty verdict, the judge will either immediately sentence the defendant or schedule a sentencing date.
Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm | Criminal Trial Attorney in Columbus
Contact the Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm today for a consultation about your criminal trial. It is important to hire a knowledgeable Columbus criminal attorney to aggressively fight the allegations against you. Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your criminal trial in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, and Licking County in Ohio.