What To Expect From A Criminal Prosecution
If you’ve been charged with criminal activity and are headed toward a trial, you likely have countless questions about what is about to happen. While no two prosecutors and no two trials are ever the same, there are some general principles criminal trials tend to share.
1- Theme: Prosecutors will want to convince a jury of your guilt by setting up a theme to the proceedings. Themes that resonate with particular kinds of cases might be related to greed, responsibility, indifference, callousness, or the like. Sometimes prosecutors will tie in famous quotations, jingles, or proverbs to nail down the theme.
2- Structure: The case will be presented in any number of ways. Oftentimes, a rendering of the events in chronological order makes sense. Sometimes prosecutors will start with a dramatic, emotional presentation and backtrack with the minutia. There will be a mixture of witnesses and evidence in all cases, and the order that it all appears will be part of the overall structure set up by the prosecution.
3- Evidence: All evidence has one purpose: to advance the argument, or theme, being presented by the prosecution.
Burden of Proof
Prosecutors are weighted with the burden of proof in a criminal trial. That includes two key elements:
1- Burden of production: This is the responsibility of the prosecution to present their evidence to a jury.
2- Burden of Persuasion: As the name implies, this is the burden of the prosecution to convince a jury up to the required standard.
Standards of Proof
The type of case in question determines the level of proof required. While civil cases require simply the preponderance of evidence to prevail, criminal cases are held to a higher standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, if there is even a slim chance that a defendant is innocent based on a level of reason that would affect decision-making in life’s weighty affairs–the jury is required to acquit.
A unanimous vote of the jury could result in either a conviction or acquittal. Juries deliberate in private with the goal of coming to a unanimous conclusion. Short of this, they will have to inform the judge that they could not come to an agreement, and the judge will decree a mistrial. That doesn’t mean it’s all over though. The prosecution has the right to retry the defendant and the whole thing starts over again.
The Defense You Deserve
At Lobo Law, our experienced and passionate Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are determined to fight for the best possible outcomes for our clients, regardless of the prosecution’s strategy to convict. To discuss your circumstances, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.