Important Aspects of a Criminal Trial

Watch the following educational legal video by New York Criminal Defense Attorney Deveraux Cannick as he explains some of the most important aspects of a criminal trial in New York.

When someone comes in for a consultation, we consider their options – including trial versus taking a plea. One of the things we try to make clear is that we can never – and no lawyer should ever – overlook the human dynamics that play an active part in every trial. The first place that comes into play is during jury selection. It seems to me that, although it’s one of the most important aspects of a trial, it’s also one of the most often overlooked. During that process, you’re endeavoring to choose 12 fair-minded individuals to sit in judgment and give you your fair day in court.

Oftentimes, the prosecutor will have some compelling evidence to offer. They may have a witness or a supposed victim, and those can be very compelling aspects when the prosecutor puts them in front of the jury. Your attorney can take advantage of jury selection to make sure the people selected will not be swayed by that type of evidence. If yours is a murder case, you want to be sure that when the deceased person’s loved ones come in and cry, talking about the loss of their loved one, their testimony won’t be considered as evidence. You never want that emotion to be substituted as evidence.

During jury selection, it’s important for your attorney to take the necessary time to carefully prepare prospective jurors for that likelihood – making sure each one is able give you that promise. He must spend enough time on this to make sure that they are steeled against emotional displays and will not be affected by them one iota.

By the time jury selection is finished, those jurors should be expecting that person to come in and cry. They must overlook the tears and emotion, looking instead at whether or not the prosecution has anything that will help prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. All too often, I think lawyers skip the jury selection process, and that’s wrong of them because that’s where they can develop that essential relationship. It may be possible to develop a tacit relationship – one that will cause one or more of those individuals to go back into that jury room and fight for your cause.

Deveraux L. Cannick is a principal member of the firm and a trial attorney.  His practice includes Federal and State criminal defense, criminal law as well as civil litigation. Contact us at our Maspeth, Queens office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with experienced New York criminal defense attorney Deveraux Cannick.

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