After a recent victory at trial for Attorney Adam Pollack on aggravated assault charges, it is important to understand how a jury trial works so that you can intelligently decide how to best pursue your case.
Adam Pollack is a Board Certified Criminal Trial lawyer and advises clients every day on whether or not they should proceed to a trial in their matter. However, we all need to remember that it is the CLIENT who ultimately decides whether or not they will proceed to a bench (trial by judge) or a jury trial. This is exactly what happened at this most recent jury trial. Attorney Pollack advised that there was an extreme amount of risk in deciding to go to trial and had secured a favorable plea agreement that did not include a conviction or serving any time in jail. The client decided to exercise their right to a jury trial and Adam Pollack fought through a lengthy trial and won.
There is so much preparation that is necessary for a jury trial. However, this must start from the beginning of a case. This is how a skilled criminal defense attorney secures favorable plea agreements and can win at a jury trial.
Attorney Adam Pollack starts with the jury instructions in every case. This is the roadmap for a defense and tells him all of the elements of the crime that must be proven before the jury. These are written instructions that are read to jurors before they are sent to deliberate on the evidence in the case. Often times, the reasonable doubt can be identified in a case by reviewing these jury instructions.
A criminal case can be won or lost at jury selection. We all know about jury duty and being called in to serve. However, many people are not aware that their questionnaire is reviewed by all the attorneys in the case. Attorneys are also allowed to ask questions and probe whether or not there are any biases or prejudices that could disqualify someone from serving. This is also the time that Adam Pollack makes sure that potential jurors understand the burden of proof and facts proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
OPENING and CLOSING STATEMENTS
The attorneys have the opportunity to speak to jurors at the beginning and end of the evidence phase. These statements are NOT evidence, but can help to persuade the jury and tell a story about the evidence that they will see in the case.
Both sides may call witnesses and introduce evidence to be seen by the jury. The rules of evidence will play a part in whether or not the jury is even allowed to hear certain testimony or see photos and documents. Often times, people mistakenly believe that certain evidence will always be considered by a jury. For example, many people assume that the character of a witness is admissible. Unfortunately, many attorneys also fail to correctly interpret the evidence code and will not be properly prepared to deal with the complex legal issues that arise during a trial. Only evidence that has been admitted by the judge can be considered by the jurors. The defendant has NO obligation to testify or even to call any witnesses. Remember that the prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no requirement that a defendant disprove the allegations. Luckily, for my clients, I am a skilled trial expert who has a firm grasp of the evidence code.
Regardless of the type of criminal charge a person is facing, trial by a jury of your peers is a time honored way of insuring your legal right to equal justice before the law. Call Attorney Adam Pollack today at (407) 834-5297 for a FREE consultation.