sentencing hearing

Your Guide to Understanding the Criminal Trial Process

As a citizen, it is imperative that you know the rule of law. Remember that ignorance of the law excuses no one. When you are charged with a criminal offence, you should know that you have the right to legal representation. Whether it is serious or not, the High Court will assure that your right to legal representation is not violated. If you are unable to pay, the state will provide one for you.

criminal offence
If you have the capacity to pay, it is time that you consider Sydney criminal lawyer. Your lawyer should explain to you the criminal trial process so you will know what to expect in the days to come. Your lawyer should particularly discuss with you the trial and sentencing process. Here’s a guide:

Step 1

The first step starts with an arrest and then charge. After the charge, bail hearing will follow. Bail will allow the accused to be free until their case is heard. If granted, the accused will be released to await the trial. If not, the accused will be taken to court.

Step 2

If the accused enters a not guilty plea and receives bail, the court will set date for the trial. If the accused enters a guilty plea, it will go straight to sentencing. You have to know that for accused to plead guilty, they may receive reduction or discount on their sentence. The judge will give the sentence during the sentencing hearing.

Step 3

The trial begins in the District Court. There will be two sides to this – the prosecution and defence case. In the prosecution’s case, the witnesses will be cross-examined. In the defence case, their witnesses will also be called for cross-examination. Both sides will also present pieces of evidence. This is the highlight because this will determine whether you will be found guilty or not based on the witness testimonies and the documents presented to the judge as evidence.

Step 4

After presenting the evidence and cross-examination, the prosecution and defence counsel will give closing addresses.

Step 5

This is one of the most grueling times for the accused. The judge will instruct the jury to deliberate the case. The jury will review the case by going through pieces of evidence and witness testimonies and determine whether the accused is guilty or not.

Step 6

If you are found guilty, the judge will sentence you in the sentencing hearing. The judge will make a decision and impose sentence. The sentence will include fine, imprisonment or both.If you are not guilty, you will be acquitted form the criminal charge.

Facing criminal charge is a life-changing moment. Whether it is serious or not, you will not know the repercussions of your actions until it is being pointed out to you in the court of law. It is only half of it. If you want to increase your chances of winning the case, it is important that you get the right criminal defence lawyer. The lawyer should be knowledgeable, skilled and experienced when it comes to criminal charges. Discuss the cost beforehand so there will be no confusions in the future.