Criminal Law

The resources listed below assist individuals who are are looking for information on how to claim responsibility for or defend against a criminal law charge.

Additional Resources:

Arizona Judicial Branch - Criminal Law Information

Frequently Asked Questions on Criminal Charges

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Sentencing

A sentencing hearing is scheduled to determine the punishment a convicted defendant will receive. The judge hears testimony from the prosecution and the defense regarding the punishment that each side feels the convicted defendant should receive.

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Instructing the Jury

After closing arguments in a jury trial, the judge reads instructions to the jurors explaining the law that applies to the case. Jury members are required to follow these instructions in reaching a verdict.

Witnesses

The prosecuting attorney will begin the case by calling witnesses and asking them questions. This is direct examination.

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Verdict

The foreman presents a written verdict to the judge, and either the judge or court clerk reads the verdict established by the jury to the court.

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Closing Arguments

When both sides have presented their evidence, each side may make closing arguments. Closing arguments are similar to opening statements.

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Steps in a Criminal Case

Steps in a Criminal Case

There are 5 steps in a criminal case: 1) Arrest, 2) Initial Appearance, 3) Preliminary Hearing, 4) Arraignment, and 5) Trial

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Jury Deliberations

The jury goes to a special jury room and elects a foreman to lead the discussion. Jurors must consider all the evidence, review the facts of the case, and reach a verdict. When the jury makes its decision, the court is called back into session.

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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