Utah 3 types of criminal lawyers

What Makes a Good Criminal Lawyer?

DUI arrest

Things you should know if you have a criminal trial.

Assuming that the criminal trial is carried out to completion, those procedures tend to include the following things:

Judge or Jury Trial. The defense often has the right to decide whether a case will be tried to a judge or jury, but in some jurisdictions both the prosecution and the defense have the right to demand a jury trial. (For more on the jury-trial right, including its limitations, see The Right to Trial by Jury.) Juries typically consist of 12 people, but some states allow for juries as small as six members.

Jury selection. If the trial will be held before a jury, the defense and prosecution select the jury through a question-and-answer process called "voir dire." In federal courts and many state courts, the judge carries out this process using questions suggested by the attorneys, as well as questions that the judge comes up with on his or her own.

Evidence issues. The defense and prosecution request that the court, in advance of trial, admit or exclude certain evidence. These requests are called motions "in limine."

Opening statements. The prosecution and then the defense make opening statements to the judge or jury. These statements provide an outline of the case that each side expects to prove. Because neither side wants to look foolish to the jury, the attorneys are careful to promise only what they think they can deliver. In some cases, the defense attorney reserves opening statement until the beginning of the defense case. The lawyer may even choose not to give an opening statement, perhaps to emphasize to the jury that it's the prosecution's burden to do the convincing.

Prosecution case-in-chief. The prosecution presents its main case through direct examination of prosecution witnesses.

Cross-examination. The defense may cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. (Also see What are 're-direct' and 're-cross' examination?)

Prosecution rests. The prosecution finishes presenting its case.

Motion to dismiss (optional). The defense may move to dismiss the charges if it thinks that the prosecution has failed to produce enough evidence—even if the jury believes the evidence—to support a guilty verdict.

Denial of motion to dismiss. As an FYI - almost always judges deny the defense motion to dismiss.

Defense case-in-chief. The defense presents its main case through direct examination of defense witnesses.

Cross-examination. The prosecutor cross-examines the defense witnesses.

Defense rests. The defense finishes presenting its case.

Prosecution rebuttal. The prosecutor offers evidence to refute the defense case.

Settling on jury instructions. The prosecution and defense get together with the judge and determine a final set of instructions that the judge will give the jury.

Prosecution closing argument. The prosecution makes its closing argument, summarizing the evidence as the prosecution sees it and explaining why the jury should render a guilty verdict.

Defense closing argument. The defense's counterpart to the prosecutor's closing argument. The lawyer explains why the jury should render a "not guilty" verdict—or at least a guilty verdict on only a lesser charge.

Prosecution rebuttal. The prosecution has the last word, if it chooses to take it, and again argues that the jury has credible evidence that supports a finding of guilty.

Jury instructions. The judge instructs the jury about what law to apply to the case and how to carry out its duties. In Utah, there are model jury instructions, also called MUJI.

Jury deliberations. The jury deliberates and tries to reach a verdict. Juries must typically be unanimous. (But see Do criminal jury verdicts have to be unanimous?) If less than the requisite number of jurors agrees on a verdict, the jury is "hung" and the case may be retried.

Post-trial motions. If the jury produces a guilty verdict, the defense often makes post-trial motions requesting the judge to override the jury and either grant a new trial or acquit the defendant.

Denial of post-trial motions. Almost always, the judge denies the defense post-trial motions.

Sentencing. Assuming a conviction (a verdict of "guilty"), the judge either sentences the defendant on the spot or sets sentencing for another day.

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Utah criminal lawyer fees

Why is Having a Lawyer Important?

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Every aspect of our society is affected by the legal system from signing a contract to driving in your own car. Thus, lawyers or what others call as attorneys, hold a great responsibility in upholding and adhering to a strict code of ethics.

You may not be very familiar but there are many different kinds of lawyers with an array of job responsibilities and duties. But they all play important roles in the lives of others, or for all of us as well.

Lawyers may specialize in different areas like bankruptcy, family law, intellectual property rights or tax law but most commonly, they are found in private practice where they concentrate on criminal or civil law.

They may represent you in court, mediation problems, business transactions, family matters and other legal proceedings wherein the law would be discussed. Thus, having a lawyer is important so they will be able to counsel you about your legal rights and obligations and they will suggest courses of actions in business and personal matters. So it is a wrong notion that only people who get into trouble are the only ones who needs a lawyer.

In everything that we deal with in life, even the small decisions we would always need the assistance of a lawyer to guide us in following the right procedures regarding the law. Even in the simplest case of creating a lease agreement with a renter, you need the advice and guidance of a lawyer to ensure you of your rights.

The lawyer is sometimes called the "repairman." He fixes what is broken at your behalf, whether it involves business or personal affairs but by repairing your problem, it may be the reason of disrepair for the other party. In every case, there will be a loser, but your lawyer is there to make sure that you will be the winner.

A lawyer is a crucial part of the process. That is why before you choose one, make sure to refer to state bar organizations to help you find the right attorney depending on what case you are involved in. It will be better to find a lawyer you are most comfortable with especially in some crucial cases.

We all want to believe that there is justice and our justice system works. And so it is the lawyers primary responsibility too to make sure expectations are fully met or justice for the client may never be achieved.

You may be stopped for questioning by the police. A stop is not the same as an arrest. A stop occurs when a police officer detains you to ask you questions, but does not move you to a different location. A police officer should not stop you unless he has a reasonable belief that you have violated the law. Even though you are not under arrest at this point, you do not have to answer any questions that the police officer asks you.

The police may also ask to search you or your vehicle. The police officer cannot search your car without your consent unless he has "probable cause". "Probable cause" is a legal determination that you won't be able to challenge until later. Because of this, you may want to tell the police officer that you do not consent to a search of your vehicle. The police officer may perform a search anyway, but if it is later determined that there was not probable cause, at least you won't have consented to the search. The police officer could decide at this point that there is no reason to arrest you and your involvement in the criminal process could end here.

Each jurisdiction has different rules regarding when an individual can be placed under arrest. In general, an officer can arrest you if he has probable cause to believe that you committed a felony, or if he sees you commit a misdemeanor, or if there is a warrant for your arrest. When you are arrested you will be taken into police custody.

When you are placed under arrest, the police must inform you of your constitutional rights. This includes your right to remain silent and your right to obtain the advice of an attorney. When you are arrested you should be given an opportunity to contact a lawyer or anyone else you want to let know what has happened to you. You are not limited to a single call. Once you are arrested there is a limited amount of time before you must either be charged with a crime or released. If you have been held for an unreasonable amount of time without being charged, your attorney can ask a judge to order your release.

After you are arrested and charged with a crime you will be booked. You will be finger printed. Your name and the crime that you have been charged with will be entered into the official police record. Your personal belongings will be taken from you for safe keeping while you are in custody. They will be inventoried and you will be asked to sign the inventory. Depending on the charge and the circumstances of your case, you may be released and ordered to appear for your hearing in court. You may be released on your own recognizance or you may have to put up a certain amount of bail to secure your release.

In other instances, you may remain in police custody until there is a court hearing on your release. If this happens, you will be asked to enter a plea. You can enter a plea of "not guilty", "no contest", or "guilty". If you enter a not guilty plea the judge will decide on the terms of your release or if you will be released pending your trial.

If you enter a plea of no contest or of guilty, there will not be a trial. In this situation, you will either be sentenced immediately or sentenced at a later time. If you are to be sentenced at some point in the future, the judge will determine whether you should be held in custody until sentencing or whether you should be released and ordered to appear for sentencing.

If you entered a not guilty plea you will have a trial. At the end of your trial, if you are found not guilty, you will be free to go, and, for you, the criminal process will end at that point. If you are found guilty, you will go through the sentencing process as described above.

Having the right lawyer with experience in criminal defense can make a tremendous difference to the outcome of your case. We can help you through every stage of the criminal process.

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