Trial Procedures

If you choose to have the case tried before a jury, you have the right to question jurors about their qualifications to hear your case. If you think that a juror will not be fair, impartial or unbiased, you may ask the judge to excuse the juror. You are also permitted to strike three members of the jury panel for any reason you choose, (except a strike based solely upon race or gender).

  • As in all criminal trials, the state will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. You then have the right to cross-examine. You may not, however, argue with the witness. Cross-examination must be in the form of questions.
  • After the prosecution, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident. The state has the right to cross-examine any witness that you call.
  • If you so desire, you may testify in your own behalf, but as a defendant, you may not be compelled to testify. It is your choice, and your silence cannot be used against you. If you do testify, the state has the right to cross-examine you.
  • After all testimony is concluded, both sides can make a closing argument. This is your opportunity to tell the jury or court why you are not guilty of the offense. The state has the right to present the first and last arguments.
  • In determining the defendant's guilt or innocence, the judge or jury may consider only the testimony of witnesses and any evidence admitted during the trial.
  • You may elect the jury to assess the fine if you are convicted. If you do not file an election the judge will assess the fine. You should be prepared to pay the fine or post an appeal bond if you are convicted.