Criminal Law

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10th, 2016 by TreyP

When it comes to criminal law¬†proceedings, many people aren’t sure where to begin or how the process works. Following is a list of common civil court FAQ’s to help clarify the process. Just remember if you are charged with anything criminally.¬†

How does a Civil Case Start?

To begin a civil case, the plaintiff must first file a complaint with the court. The defendant is then served a legal copy to the defendant.

What Does a Typical Complaint Include?

The information contained in a typical complaint will describe the plaintiff’s injury, how the defendant caused the injury, and asks the court to order some form of relief.

What Type of Compensation is Sought After in Civil Cases?

A typical plaintiff may ask the court to rule the defendant discontinue any conduct that is causing harm or injury, or they may ask for monetary compensation. The courts may also impose other types of compensation as well. An experienced attorney will know exactly what to include in the original complaint and seek appropriate damages and compensation for their client.

Do Civil Cases go to Trial?

Yes they do; however, in order to avoid the delay and expense of holding a trial, judges will frequently encourage the two parties, or litigants, to reach an agreement through the use of a mediator and arbitration. These alternative dispute resolutions are designed to produce an early resolution, known as a settlement, without proceeding to trial. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement then the courts will schedule a trial.

Is There a Jury Present in a Civil Case?

Under the law, either side is entitled to a trial by jury; however, if both sides agree to waive their right to a jury trial then the case will be heard and decided upon by the judge.

How Does One Properly Prepare for Trail?

Discovery:

Preparing for trial should always include the legal advice of an experienced attorney, they understand how the proceedings work and will represent you in a way that gets you the compensation you’re entitled.

When preparing for a civil trial, the litigants conduct discovery. This is where the litigants present their evidence and prepare to call witnesses. At this point, either side may file motions seeking rulings on the discovery of evidence or on court proceedings.

What is a Deposition?

A common form of a Deposition is when a witness testifies under oath and answers questions about the case. During trial, witnesses testify only when called upon and do so under the supervision of the judge. The judge also determines which evidence can be presented in court by applying the rules of evidence.

What is a Court Reporter?

A court reporter has been trained to record a word-for-word account of all testimony which is called a transcript.

What are Closing Arguments?

At the conclusion of the trial, each side has the opportunity to present a closing argument to the jury, who will then determine if the defendant is responsible and if so, how much to pay in damages.

When a case is held in front of a judge without a jury in what’s referred to as a bench trial, then the judge will determine responsibility and damages.

What is Preponderance of Evidence?

In civil suits, matters are determined be what is referred to as a Preponderance of Evidence, which means more likely than not the defendant is responsible. This is much different than a criminal case, where guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.