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What is a Jury Trial?

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Houston Criminal Law Video Transcription

A jury trial is your most important right. And it’s something that we at McLemore, Reddell, Ardoin, and Story strive to vindicate our clients when necessary. When the charge bargaining doesn’t work, when the sentence bargaining doesn’t work, and all we’re left with is going to trial, then we go to trial and vindicate our clients.

A jury trial is where either six or 12 persons of your community, your peers, will listen to the evidence as proffered by the state. And they will also listen to the evidence that we bring in our case in chief. And then they will decide if the state has met its burden by proving all of the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the highest level of a proof that we have in our criminal system, and it’s appropriate because in these situations, you’re facing being imprisoned or placed in jail for significant amount of time. And also you have the possibility of having a criminal conviction on your record for a felony or misdemeanor, which can be very important to people to keep off of their records.

During that jury trial, the state will go first. The state will have the opportunity to call witnesses, police officers, or civilian witnesses to prove each and every element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The state will call their witnesses and we will cross-examine those witnesses based upon our speaking with you in preparing for trial.

After the state has finished its evidence, then the defense will have the opportunity to call any witnesses that we would like to call, and put on our evidence that rebuts the state’s contention that you are guilty. 

That is a long and a hard process, but we have had great success at trial by planning and meeting with our clients, going over the evidence, putting together a case strategy, and a defense against the state’s prosecution. And we at McLemore, Reddell, Ardoin, and Story will definitely go to trial when the client wants to go to trial. And we have a great success at trial.