Typical Criminal Trial Procedures

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Once a person has been arrested for a crime, charges are brought against them. They are innocent until proven guilty and have the right to a speedy and fair trial. Depending on the crime and particular situation, the accused will have a bail set and may be released. Investigations occur where evidence is collected including witness statements and physical evidence. A jury may be selected, and the case starts with opening statements from the prosecution and the defense. Witnesses may be called to offer testimony either for or against the accused. Each side will offer a closing argument explaining why the jury or judge should decide in their favor, based on the case they presented. The jury or judge deliberates and decides the outcome of the case. The verdict is read. If the defendant is found not guilty he or she is free to go. If the defendant is found guilty, a sentencing date is scheduled.

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