How do Nevada Criminal Trials Work?
Prior to Trial
Is your case going to trial? Then you need an attorney who knows how to plan a winning trial defense strategy. What evidence is admissible? What evidence is inadmissible? What arguments are going to persuade the jury? These are all things your Liberators Defense attorney will be discussing with you in advance of trial so you know exactly what the plan is, what the odds of success are, and how we can put you in the best position to win your case.
Jury Selection and Voir Dire
The court summons many potential jurors to appear at court at the time the trial is set. This is called the jury pool. Once the jurors arrive and are sworn in, lawyers from both sides, the defense, and the prosecution, can question the jury pool to determine whether they are qualified to serve upon the jury and to determine if they are biased. This is called the jury "voir dire" phase. Both sides then get to excuse or strike several jurors. Additional members of the jury pool may be removed for cause (such as if the court concludes they are biased, or otherwise would not be able to serve as a juror in the case).
Each side then can give an "opening statement." An opening statement is each side's opportunity to give the jury their initial view of the facts of the case, what they expect the evidence will show, and to identify the important contested factual issues in the case that the jury will be called to decide.
Because the State bears the burden of proving every element of each charged offense, they give their opening statement first. The prosecutor will generally summarize the evidence they intend to present at trial, the witnesses they intend to call, and what they are alleging that the defendant did wrong.
The defense will then give their own opening statement; however, they can defer doing so. The defense can either give their opening statement immediately or wait until the State presents its case and before the defense begins its case in chief.
How does defense counsel decide when to use their opening statement, and what to say? Every case is different and requires a unique strategy that fits the facets of that case. A Liberators Criminal Defense attorney can walk you through the gameplan for your case, so you know what is going to happen, why it is going to happen, and what the overall strategy is going to be.