How do prosecutors try to prove guilt? How do defendants try to disprove it? What kind of information is the prosecution and defense entitled to, and how do they introduce it at trial? This section answers these questions and others, taking an in-depth look at the way criminal trials take shape.
Hearsay is a verbal or written statement by someone to a witness who, while testifying in court, repeats the statement.
Investigating a Criminal Case: Interviewing Prosecution Witnesses
If done properly, trying to interview prosecution witnesses can be an effective investigation technique.
Discovery: What and When the Prosecution Must Disclose
Discovery is the process through which defendants find out about the prosecution's case.
Preservation of Evidence in Criminal Cases
The government has a duty to preserve certain types of evidence it collects during criminal investigations and prosecutions.
State vs. Federal Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases
Learn what determines whether a state or the federal government prosecutes a criminal case.
Defenses to Criminal Charges: An Overview
To convict a criminal defendant, the prosecutor must prove the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course, the defendant gets an opportunity to present a defense. There are many defenses, from "I didn't do it" to "I did it, but it was self-defense” and beyond. Read more about some common defenses below.
Immunity in Exchange for Testimony
“You have the right to remain silent” is perhaps the most recognized adage in our criminal justice system. This rule comes from the Fifth Amendment to the U.S.