Motion for judgment of acquittal:  After the prosecutor puts on the State’s case, your lawyer will have an opportunity to ask the court to throw the case out.  During this phase your lawyer will make a motion showing that the prosecutor did not make a prima facie case or insufficient to convict you of the charges. If granted, you are acquitted from the charge(s). However, most of the time this is denied.

Defense case-in-chief:  This is where you defend your argument, present your defense and use witnesses of your own to refute what the prosecutor present during the State’s case.

Renewed motion for judgment of acquittal:  After all the evidence has been heard, your lawyer will once again ask the judge to throw the case out because no reasonable jury could find you guilty.

Closing Arguments:  This is the made-for-TV moment we’re all used to seeing. Now that the jury has heard all the evidence, each side gets an opportunity to tell the jurors what the evidence means and why they should side with them. The closing arguments summarize everything that took place.

Judge/Jury Instruction:  Before they go into the jury room to make their decision and render a verdivct, the judge instructs the jurors on the law they are to apply to the case.

Jury Deliberation:  This is the moment when the jury comes together to decide whether you are guilty.  The first step will likely be for them to elect someone to be the foreperson.  Jury deliberations can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or even several days. Once they have given it thought, they inform the judge of their decision.

Jury Verdict: Jurors are given forms to check whether they feel you are not guilty or guilty of the crime(s) charged.  Once the jury has reached its decision, this form is handed over to the judge and you will learn your fate once the verdict is read in open court.  

Post-trial and/or Postconviction

Sentencing:  Assuming you have been found guilty by the jury, the judge then decides what type of punishment would be appropriate for you. The judge also has the ability to enhance or reduce a sentence. Some different types of sentencing include restitution, fines, community service, probation, jail or even prison.

Appeal:  This is where, most likely a new lawyer, can look into what rulings occurred during your case and trial and possibly challenge it by asking a higher court to review it. 

While it may seem this article is extremely detailed and all-encompassing, there is much more that goes into a criminal case than what was listed here.  A criminal case can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

Do You Find Yourself In Need Of A Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you've recently found yourself in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami you should contact me as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me online or to call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You can also request my free book "The Ultimate Guide To Fighting Criminal Charges In Florida", a detailed download discussing the myths, rumors and hearsay often associated with criminal charges, what to expect from your criminal court proceedings and important steps you must take to battle your charges.


Daniel Izquierdo
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Coral Gables defense lawyer helping clients accused of Federal Crimes, DUI, Domestic Violence & Sex Crimes.