This is the next post in a series of articles about defending against aggravated assault charges in Laredo, Texas. The previous article discussed how the presence or use of a weapon during an assault will increase the charge from simple assault to aggravated assault. If a weapon is involved, it may also lead to additional criminal charges and penalties related to the firearm itself. These serious consequences make it even more important to seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney to protect your interests. This article will focus on what one can expect during a trial for aggravated assault. Experienced counsel can help you navigate and understand the trial process. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer. Our firm serves the south Texas area.
Felony charges are tried by juries in Laredo, Texas
In Texas, when a criminal defendant is charged with a misdemeanor, the trial will be a “bench trial,” meaning it will be presided over by a judge, rather than a jury. When defendants are charged with felonies, however, a jury will be convened for the criminal trial. Under Texas law, aggravated assault is a felony level charge, which will be subject to trial by jury. Jurors are chosen from a “pool” of individuals. During the selection process, attorneys for each side will have the ability to challenge and remove a certain number of potential jurors from the jury pool. This allows each side to remove those jurors whom they feel may not be unbiased, so long as the challenges is not based on race, ethnicity, gender or other protected category. Once the jury is empaneled and the trial begins, the prosecution and defense will make their respective opening statements, which provide an overview of the main elements of each party’s case. The prosecution will then present its witnesses and evidence. The defense will have the same opportunity. Both sides may cross-examine the witnesses presented by the other. The prosecution may present additional information to rebut evidence presented by the defense. Next, each attorney will present their closing statements. Once the process is complete the jury will deliberate and render its verdict.
A Laredo defense lawyer with trial experience will work to clearly communicate evidence to a jury
As in any trial, the evidence presented to the jury by the prosecution and the defense attorney will be very fact specific. The success or failure of a defense, such as self-defense or misidentification, will depend largely on the ability of defense counsel to clearly communicate complex information to the jury. A criminal defense attorney with jury trial experience will work to effectively and concisely explain the legal theories and factual information in a way that the jury will understand. Experienced counsel will also pursue other avenues in order to effectively challenge the prosecution’s case.
If you have been charged with aggravated assault and are facing a jury trial, contact my office today to speak with a Laredo lawyer. I also handle matters in other south Texas areas.