Criminal Trial Attorney in Boston and Qunicy, MA
In a criminal case, the trial is where everything comes together. This is when your attorney will have the opportunity to present your case before a judge and jury, complete with evidence, compelling opening and closing statements and witness testimony to support your side of the story. This is where preparation, communication skills and a solid strategy can make all the difference – and where a case may be won or lost, deciding a defendant’s future.
The following is a basic outline of a criminal trial by jury in Massachusetts:
- The trial will begin with opening statements. The Commonwealth (prosecution) will have the opportunity to present its opening statement first. The defense will then present its opening statement, either immediately after the prosecution’s opening statement or after the close of the prosecution’s evidence. Opening statements are typically limited to 15 minutes, though the judge may reduce or extend this time.
- The next step is the presentation of evidence. This is typically the longest part of a case, as each side will have the opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses and may go back and forth to challenge the other’s case. The prosecution will attempt to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, while the defense will work to point errors in the prosecution’s case in order to build that reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.
- At the close of evidence or earlier in the trial, based on the judge’s discretion, the judge will instruct the jury on the law as it applies to the case.
- The defense and prosecution will then give their closing arguments. The defense will give its closing argument first, and the prosecution will follow. Closing arguments are typically limited to 30 minutes, though the judge may extend or reduce this time period.
- At this point, the jury will consider the opening statements, evidence, jury instructions and closing arguments. This is the deliberation phase of the case, and the jurors will meet in a closed room to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
- The verdict is the final step of a criminal trial. After the jury has reached its verdict, this will be read to the court. If the defendant is found not guilty, he or she is free to go. If the defendant is found guilty of a misdemeanor, the judge may immediately sentence the defendant. If the defendant is found guilty of a felony, a hearing will typically be set for a later date to determine sentencing.
Involve a Boston Criminal Trial Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
In a jury trial, the smallest details matter. What you wear, how you present yourself, your testimony if you take the stand, the overall approach to your case, opening statements, the examination and cross-examination of witnesses and closing arguments may all influence the verdict. Never underestimate the importance of your attorney’s competence in court, as this could mean the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict.
At Keegan Law, we are experienced trial lawyers with the added benefit of experience as former prosecutors and police officers. We use our more than 40 years of criminal justice experience to devise aggressive and effective strategies for our clients in court, taking a tailored approach to address the specific circumstances surrounding each client’s case. Find out how a Boston criminal defense attorney at our firm can help you by calling our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.