6. Trial – the prosecution bears the burden of proof as both sides are heard, witnesses are cross-examined; defendant found guilty or not guilty

     This page is continued from Judicial Proceedings >>>> 4. Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury Proceedings >>>> Criminal Proceedings:


     At trial, the judge or the jury will either find the defendant guilty or not guilty.  The prosecution bears the burden of proof in a criminal trial.  Thus, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crimes charged.  The defendant has a constitutional right to a jury trial in most criminal matters.  A jury or judge makes the final determination of guilt or innocence after listening to opening and closing statements, examination and cross-examination of witnesses and jury instructions.  If the jury fails to reach a unanimous verdict, the judge may declare a mistrial, and the case will either be dismissed or a new jury will be chosen.  If a judge or jury finds the defendant guilty, the court will sentence the defendant. [1]


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[1]: Justia Criminal Law Stages of a Criminal Case: https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/stages-of-a-criminal-case.html


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