Successfully arguing a case before a jury takes extensive preparation, knowledge, and skills, which is why it’s always best to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side rather than to try to represent yourself. You’ll work closely with your lawyer to prepare your case, make key decisions, and get ready to testify, if you choose to take the stand in your defense.
Requesting a Jury Trial
Before your trial date can be set, your criminal defense lawyer will submit a request for a jury trial. Missing this deadline waives your right to a jury trial, which is one reason why it’s important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible once you land in legal trouble. Along with the request for a jury trial, you or your lawyer will post jury fees.
Questioning the Jury
On your first day of trial, a group of prospective jurors is randomly selected and called into court. For a standard jury of 12 men and women, about 30 prospective jurors are usually called. The judge will ask each prospective juror basic questions about his or her background. Then, your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor will question them further. This questioning process is known as voir dire, a French term, and its purpose is to present your case before a partial jury.
Using Juror Challenges
If your lawyer detects a potential bias in one or more prospective jurors, he or she can issue challenges. Each party is given a set number of preemptive challenges for the purpose of excusing prospective jurors. Preemptive challenges may be used freely, without having to explain the reason for the challenge. On the other hand, a challenge for cause may be used as many times as desired. This type of challenge is issued because the prospective juror’s response to a question may indicate a bias.
There’s no need to face the justice system alone; develop a partnership with Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP, a team of expert criminal defense lawyers. We have the experience and resources necessary to guide you through legal proceedings and help you achieve a favorable outcome. You can connect with a criminal defense lawyer today by calling (717) 412-1564.
The Miranda rights or warnings are an essential component of the process of arresting a suspect. They were developed after the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona. Ernesto Miranda had been arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape. He signed a confession after a lengthy interrogation; however, the conviction was overturned because he was never informed of his rights. Today, police jurisdictions across the country are required to inform each suspect of his or her Miranda rights.
For information about the specific statements included in the Miranda warnings, watch this video. You’ll hear more about the background of the guidelines and you’ll learn what police officers do if a suspect is deaf or does not speak English. You’ll also learn what eventually became of Ernesto Miranda.
If you’ve been arrested, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side to keep you apprised of your rights and inform you of your legal options. The lawyers of Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP have over 50 years of experience in criminal defense. Contact us at (717) 412-1564.
On almost any major holiday, police departments across the country set up a series of DUI checkpoints, as a way to keep drunk drivers off the road. Unlike situations in which an officer pulls someone over for suspicion of drunk driving, DUI checkpoints are random and not targeted. This means that every driver can potentially encounter a DUI checkpoint and should be aware of his or her rights in the situation.
Unless police officers have probable cause that you are driving under the influence or you give them permission, they are not legally allowed to search your car. In addition, the 5th Amendment protects you from having to answer any questions that you don’t want to answer. However, if you tell the police officer that you don’t feel comfortable answering a particular question, he or she may ask you to take a Breathalyzer test.
You may legally have the right to refuse a Breathalyzer test at a DUI checkpoint, but you can still get arrested if the officers have probable cause that you are intoxicated. If you decline taking the Breathalyzer test, the police will most likely ask you to step out of your vehicle and perform a series of field sobriety tests.
Field sobriety test
Field sobriety tests are substantially more subjective evidence in terms of proving DUI. The most common field sobriety tests include the walk and turn test, the one-legged stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. While the walk and turn and one-legged stand test both require you to maintain balance, horizontal gaze nystagmus test checks to see if your eyes can follow a flashlight laterally without you swiveling your head. A police officer may take you into custody for failing to comply with the Breathalyzer test or failing to pass the field sobriety tests.
If you’re facing DUI charges, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can dramatically affect your case. At Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP, our criminal lawyers have more than 50 years of combined litigation experience. To schedule a consultation, please call (717) 412-1564.
In all 50 states, a person is considered legally drunk if he or she is driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. Previously, the legal limit was .10, as it took 21 years for each state to adopt the .08 recommendations. Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend states lower this requirement to .05.
Even though the National Transportation Safety Board makes recommendations regarding the legal limit for a DUI, it’s up to the states to adopt these suggestions. This news report takes a look at how a .05 limit would affect local restaurants and law enforcement agencies. The NTSB hopes that a lower limit would ultimately reduce traffic incidents involving drunk driving.
Kelly, Parker, & Cohen LLP is committed to obtaining practical solutions for our clients. To schedule a meeting with a criminal defense lawyer, please call (717) 412-1564.
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