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Civil Trials in the United States

Civil Trials in the United States

Civil trials are court hearings that involve civil cases. A civil case will handle any infraction that is not considered a felony. In general, most civil cases deal with wrongdoings or misdemeanors associated with personal injury claims, torts, family law cases, minor or petty theft, medical malpractice suits, and other suits that would precipitate a minor punishment or the reimbursement of a financial loss. 

Cases involved in a civil trial do not require a jury, and many times do not require advanced legal professionals. Civil trials, in essence, are claims made by one individual against another individual or entity. The prosecuting individual, in most civil cases, will seek a reimbursement of monies for damages or a failure to carry out an obligation. Contact a civil lawyer for legal advice and assistance.

The prosecuting case will state their case with the delivery of evidence, witness testimonials, and an argument. The defense will incorporate the same strategy to state their case. A judge, who regulates and oversees the case, will evaluate the facts of the case and make a settlement (typically in the same day) which acts as the verdict in civil trial.

 

Can You Be Convicted Based on Hearsay?

Can You Be Convicted Based on Hearsay?

 
Hearsay is any information gathered by one party or person from another concerning a particular event, condition, or thing that was not directly related to the accused person. When hearsay evidence is submitted in a trail or court hearing, the statements can be accepted and reviewed as a part of the case. 
 
 
Hearsay evidence can be obtained and evaluated to prove truths of what is asserted in a legal setting. Generally speaking, this is not allowed, however, in special cases that specifically carry a severe charge, can incorporate hearsay evidence to bolster a defense or expedite a verdict. 
 
 
In most cases, whether it is a civil or criminal trial, hearsay evidence is outlawed as a prohibition labeled the hearsay rule. That being said, the rules regarding what is considered hearsay evidence and what is considered factual evidence is often blurred and typically left for interpretation by the individual judge and court system.
 
 

The Experience of Going to Trial

The Experience of Going to Trial

Expectations in court will vary based on the charge you are facing and the location in which the charges were committed or filed. All crimes or wrongdoings have varied punishments and legal processes. 
For misdemeanors (which are viewed as petty crimes or minor violations) will typically require paper work or a quick appearance in front of a judge. The civil process for going to trial will not involve a jury or even a legal team in some cases. As a result, going to trial for a civil offense typically involves a quick review of the facts present and the administration of a fine.
Going to trial for a criminal offense is a more time-consuming and stressful situation. Again, depending on the charge a criminal trial can last days or months, but in general, because of the seriousness of the offense, a criminal trial will involve a jury, witness statements, a thorough review of the evidence involved, and the incorporation of legal teams. 

Using the Right Counter Argument

Using the Right Counter Argument

A counter argument can be utilized in a number of forums. That being said, understanding how to properly formulate a counter argument is a necessary procedure for professional, academic, or legal purposes. 
The first step to formulate a counter argument is firmly establishing a claim. A persuasive counter argument is one that is fortified through research, clear examples, and logical reasoning. As a result of this, developing a counter argument requires the delivery of a strong thesis.
To develop a thesis thorough research must be conducted to support your claims. A solid argument is always established through factual evidence and suitable research. Once the research has been collected, you must develop strong opening sentences that are affirmative and attention-grabbing. 
The claim must be constructed through a strong topic sentence; developing such sentences will build on the body of the argument. Organizing the counter argument is necessary because the listener or audience must be clearly directed through the argument without losing grasp of your logic or point. 
Trial laws has more information about formulating a counter argument. 

What to Expect in the Court Trial Process

What to Expect in the Court Trial Process

 

Although there are different procedures for criminal and civil trials, there are some basic principles found in both types of trials. The judge has the power to control the court room, including rulings on objections and the allowance of evidence presented at trial.

In both cases, judges determine which information will be presented during trial and which information will be excluded. The judge may allow evidence, as long as it was gathered properly. However, the judge will not allow evidence to be presented if it was obtained illegally or if the evidence may have been tainted.

Both sides will present the evidence which proves their assumptions about the case, including witness testimony. After closing arguments, the judge or jury will make a determination about guilt or innocence. If an individual is found guilty, they will then be sentenced. Contact a trial lawyer for legal advice and assistance.

 

When To File A Motion to Continue

When To File A Motion to Continue

A motion to continue is a type of request, made by either the defense or the prosecution in a criminal case, to establish a new trial date. In order to request a continuance, the party initiating the motion must provide a suitable reason for this action. This may involve the acquisition of new or important evidence. 
 
 
In addition, an individual may motion to continue if he/she must subpoena a key witness. It is important to note that a continuance will not always be granted. Usually, a judge will be more likely to issue a continuance early in the trial. The judge may not authorize a continuance if the case has already been delayed several times. 
 
 
However, if the continuance is vital to the outcome of a criminal trial, the judge will most likely approve the motion to continue. The decision regarding a motion to continue is left solely to the judge presiding over the criminal case.
 
Trial laws has more information on a motion to continue. 

Pretrial Motions

Pretrial Motions

A pretrial motion is a type of motion or request made by attorneys prior to the start of a criminal case. Before a criminal case begins, the defense attorney and the prosecutor will meet with the judge to determine what evidence will be permitted in the trial and what evidence should be withheld. 
 
 
A defense attorney may request that the judge exclude or withhold any type of evidence that was not obtained lawfully. This will prohibit the use of any evidence that law enforcement agents acquire through illegal searches. Pretrial motions may be used to discredit key witnesses. 
 
 
For instance, an attorney may provide proof that indicates that his/her opponent's key witness is not competent to provide testimony, and therefore, the witness should not be permitted to testify. The defense attorney may argue that his/her client's confession was not lawfully obtained, and therefore, cannot be used. The evidence included within a case is vital to the outcome of that case. Therefore, pretrial motions are extremely important.

The 5 Important Points in Competence

The 5 Important Points in Competence

Primarily, the prospect a defendant or a plaintiff suffering from a mental deficiency must be evaluated by an accredited psychiatrist in order to determine the individual’s competency to stand trial. In the event that a mental deficiency is not – or cannot be substantiated – the individual is considered competent to stand trial. 
 
 
However, if a mental, neurological, or developmental deficiency is found within the individual, they are required to undergo psychiatric evaluation in order to determine if they are competent to stand trial. 
 
 
In the event of a noticeable deficiency – ranging from mental, neurological, or developmental – in order to be considered competent, the individual must:
 
 
·         Be able to understand the court proceeding, charges, and implications of testimony
 
 
·         Be able to display the cognitive ability to accurately recount facts and details
 
 
·         Be able to understand the various roles of the employees of the court, as well as be able to differentiate between them
 
 
·         Be able to adhere to the decorum of the courtroom
 
 
·         Be able to interact with the judge, bailiff, and attorney
 
 
Trials laws has more information on being declared competent to stand trial. 

Is Hearsay Enough to Be Convicted?

Is Hearsay Enough to Be Convicted?

The finding that a particular legal judgment issued against a criminal defendant represents an instance of “conviction based on hear say” can be made based on the finding that evidence was not used sufficiently to prove a legal assertion. Hear say refers to statements introduced outside of the judicial process and as such not considered admissible evidence. 
 
 
A conviction based on hear say can therefore be identified according to the Hearsay Rule, as is most often provided by the source of the Federal Rules of Evidence. An item of hear say is considered an assertion of fact, whereas evidence is considered testimony as to the fact asserted by the witness. 
 
 
Hear say is commonly believed to apply specifically to verbal statements, but this belief cannot be supported. Moreover, hear say does not refer to any agreement made outside a court of law but referring to a judicial proceeding being transacted within it.
 

What Does it Mean to Be Under Oath?

What Does it Mean to Be Under Oath?

 
An oath is a type of promise made by a participating individual. When an individual makes an oath, he/she will usually call upon an entity that he/she believes to be sacred, which, in most instances, is God. There are many different types of oaths that an individual may be required to make, depending upon the surrounding circumstances. 
 
 
For example, when an individual becomes a doctor, he/she will be required to declare the Hippocratic Oath, in which he/she promises to uphold high values and ethics while practicing medicine. Other common types of oaths include oaths of citizenship, oaths of office, and oaths of allegiance. In the United States, individuals who are providing testimonies or statements in criminal cases or civil cases must take an oath prior to providing this information.
 
 
In a criminal case or a civil case, the information provided by witnesses functions as vital evidence. The testimonies that are provided play a large role in the official decision made by the jury. The jury will consider all of the evidence, including testimony, when deciding the fate of a defendant. 
 
 
Therefore, it is extremely important that the information provided is accurate and truthful. False information can significantly compromise the integrity of a case. All witnesses are required to take an oath before they testify. In this oath they swear to only provide truthful information. If a witness lies while under oath, he/she has committed perjury. Perjury is considered to be a very serious offense that can have severe consequences for individuals who partake in this behavior.