The California Constitution gives defendants in a criminal case the right to have their case heard by a jury trial, which is a group of twelve people from the public who are responsible for reviewing the facts of the case and then deciding whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty of the crimes for they were charged with.
Anybody charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime is entitled to a jury trial, which is an essential part of the criminal case process. The right to a jury trial can be waived in favor of a bench trial, where the judge will decide the case.
In some cases, this is preferred by the defendant based on the details of the case and the type of criminal charges, but most choose a jury trial. Some crucial features of a jury trial are designed to safeguard the rights of the accused, such as the jury's composition having to represent a cross-section of the community.
However, while a jury will never be precisely proportionate to the community's demographics regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc., the defense or prosecution can't attempt to make the jury unrepresentative.
At the defendant's arraignment, which is the first court date, if they enter a “not guilty” plea, several pretrial proceedings are primarily designed to resolve the case. In situations where a plea bargain can't be reached, then the criminal case will proceed to trial.
At a jury trial, a defendant has the right to counsel but could choose to represent themselves, which is never the best legal option, but the court has to honor their request.
Because the constitution guarantees the right to a lawyer, the court must appoint one to represent a criminal defendant at a jury trial if they can't financially afford to hire one. That criminal attorney must provide competent and effective representation. Let's take a closer look at this topic below.
Three Decades of Criminal Trial Experience
If you're searching for a great trial attorney because you or a loved one has a trial that will go off in Los Angeles and they're charged with a crime and are facing time in prison and other dire consequences if they're found guilty, search no further. You've come to the right place.
I've been doing trials in the LA area and across surrounding counties for approximately 30 years. I started in the early 1990s working for the district attorney's office and then worked for a superior court judge as his right-hand man, so I could get a feel for how the criminal justice system worked, how judges decided cases, and how prosecutors prosecuted them.
While doing that, I always had an eye towards being the best criminal defense attorney that a client could retain, and that came through, starting off taking any trial I could get my hands on; whether it was civil or criminal, it didn't matter. It didn't matter what the charge was or any crime that somebody needed to defend; I was there to fight for them.
We have the greatest criminal justice system in the world because any defendant, in any case, is presumed innocent, and we tell the jurors that before we start our trials. You want somebody who will fight and keep that presumption of innocence alive and get the not-guilty verdict for your client. That comes through years of:
- battling cases;
- years of picking juries,
- seeing how they decide issues,
- years of arguing against prosecutors,
- years of going against judges who want to chop up the defense's case and bolster the prosecution's case.
You've got to be ready for it. You've got to be prepared for top prosecutors and police investigators, especially in significant cases where all marbles are on the line.
Reviewing the Pros and Cons of Taking Your Case to Trial
I've worked hard. I've put a lot of time, energy, and effort into becoming the best. If you need someone to help you because you're in a challenging position, I suggest you come in and at least meet with me if you're looking for a great trial defense attorney in Los Angeles County.
We'll go over your case. We'll talk about the pros and cons are going to trial. We'll talk about the good and bad points related to your topic, and if you decide you want to get me involved, we'll develop a plan that we'll execute step by step to bring you the result you must have.
Of course, we have limitations, and that's the evidence. Prosecutors are going to be putting on whatever evidence the police gather. We, of course, can attack that evidence. We also have the ability to get evidence on your behalf and put that on if it makes sense and if it's going to help your criminal case.
Of course, once all of the evidence is said and done, the actual attorney starts because there will be a closing argument. Your criminal defense attorney needs to work hard to ensure that all of the best ideas are made and all of the best angles are covered on your behalf to get the result you must have.
Contact the Hedding Law Firm for Legal Representation
The jury trial process ultimately protects a defendant's right to liberty. No, the system is not perfect, but the jury trial system has proven to be a significant safeguard of the rights of the innocent and to hold the government to its burden of proof.
Our experienced legal team of criminal defense lawyers has litigated hundreds of jury trials and achieved excellent results for our clients.
If you need the best, pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. Let me put my 30 years of trial experience in the criminal defense arena to work for you. The Hedding Law Firm provides a free case consultation via phone or contact form.