The Criminal Trial Process In Cincinnati OH
If you are accused of a criminal offense, it is difficult to imagine how much is at stake. You must achieve the best result possible under the circumstances. Therefore, you need to present the best defense possible under the facts of your case. Only a seasoned and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can shape and aggressively present an effective defense on your behalf. The criminal defense attorneys at Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm are recognized throughout Ohio as leading lawyers in their field.
Our attorneys will defend and assert your valuable rights to have charges dropped or reduced. If necessary, we will go to trial and force the prosecution to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
As the defendant in a criminal matter, it is your choice to choose either a jury or bench trial. A jury trial involves the resolution of the case’s factual issues by a jury of eight or twelve of your peers, depending on the severity of the charges. A bench trial is conducted before a judge, who decides both questions of fact and law. The judge determines the admissibility of evidence while also ensuring that both the prosecution and defense follow applicable rules of court procedure.
Experienced Cincinnati Criminal Trial Lawyers
If you are charged with a criminal offense in Cincinnati or the surrounding counties of Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Preble, and Brown, it is crucial that an experienced criminal defense attorney represents you in your criminal matter. Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm represents clients in both Hamilton County Common Pleas and Municipal courts. We also represent clients in the Mayor’s Courts of different villages, townships, and cities, including but not limited to those located throughout the Greater Cincinnati area in Hamilton, Middletown, Fairfield, and Mason. The experienced Criminal Defense attorneys at Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm are on call 24/7. Give us a call today at (513) 399-6289 to let us review your case. The consultation is free, and there is no obligation.
- Burdens Of Proof In A Cincinnati Criminal Trial
- The Attorneys’ Opening Statements In A Cincinnati Criminal Trial
- Presentation Of Evidence At Trial
- Closing Arguments In A Cincinnati Criminal Trial
- Hamilton County Jury Instructions
- The Jury Verdict
- Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm | Criminal Trial Attorneys in Cincinnati
A core principle of the American justice system is that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. This is also a core principle and, therefore, a vital component of any criminal defense. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Any reasonable doubt in jurors’ minds means that a defendant must be acquitted and the charge cleared. If the prosecution fails to meet this heavy burden, the court must rule in favor of the defendant and dismiss the case.
In contrast, a defendant generally only has a burden to prove a fact at trial if they present a defense or some form of justification for the alleged criminal conduct. However, a defendant’s burden of proof on certain motions or defenses is by a preponderance of the evidence or the greater weight of the evidence. This is not as strict a burden as the prosecution’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A significant component of any criminal case is the opening statement. These statements by the prosecutor and defense counsel are each party’s first chance to address the court. Each side, especially the defense attorney, has an opportunity with the opening statement to make a positive impression on the jury and gain its favor. The opening statement helps a defense attorney lay the groundwork for your criminal defense. The defense attorney also may explain the prosecution’s incredibly challenging burden of proof to find you guilty – the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.
Experienced Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys typically work to achieve the following objectives in every criminal trial:
- Presenting a summary of the supporting evidence to be presented at trial in a logical, understandable manner
- Describing the main issues to be resolved at trial to establish innocence
- Explaining the case’s relevant legal theories
- Establishing the defense’s most vital points
- Demonstrating the inherent weaknesses of the prosecution’s case
- Establishing a sense of credibility on behalf of the defendant and the defense team
- Discrediting the prosecution’s evidence
After the opening statements, both the prosecution and defense proceed to the crucial stage of the trial and present their evidence, subject to applicable Ohio or Federal evidence rules. The presentation of evidence may include introducing different types of exhibits and the testimony of any witnesses to the alleged criminal conduct. The defense will have the opportunity to cross-examine each of the prosecution’s witnesses.
The defense may also challenge the admissibility of any evidence introduced by the prosecution. Next, the defendant will have the chance to present exhibits and testimony favorable to their position. Like the prosecution’s evidence, this is also subject to cross-examination and admissibility challenges by the other party. A criminal trial may last for a few days or several months based on the facts and circumstances of the case and the issues and evidence presented at trial.
During this stage, the prosecution and defense present a summary and overview of the evidence supporting guilt and innocence. The defense attorney has one last opportunity to create a lasting and favorable impression with the jury and convince each juror of the defendant’s innocence. The closing statement is an ardent, stirring, passionate plea of the defendant’s innocence to the jury. It should remove any inclination towards finding guilt by any jury member even before the jurors enter deliberations.
As the case winds down and after both sides give their closing arguments following the presentation of evidence on both sides, the judge will inform the jury of the applicable legal guidelines. The court also gives instructions related to the jury’s responsibilities in applying the law to the facts of the case during jury deliberations.
The jury verdict is the decision of the factfinder based on the evidence and issues in the case, as presented, to establish and decide them. After the jury reaches a verdict, the jury members will return to the courtroom and present their decision to the court. If the verdict is guilty, the judge will schedule a future date to impose the court’s sentence.
Contact Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm today for a consultation about your criminal trial. It is important to hire a knowledgeable Cincinnati criminal attorney to aggressively fight the allegations against you while asserting and defending your valuable constitutional rights. Call (513) 399-6289 for a consultation about your criminal trial in Hamilton County and surrounding counties, including Butler County, Clermont County, Clinton County, Preble County, and Brown County in Ohio.