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WHAT TO EXPECT AT TRIAL

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


J.S.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I hired Zachary after I found myself charged with a felony. He put me at ease right away and during the whole process he explained each step to where I understood everything and was always available for any questions I had. ”


S.N.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Zachary is a brilliant attorney, I highly recommend his company to resolve any legal/criminal matter satisfactorily. He still continue to work on my case to tie some loose ends. He is intelligent , prompt and a problem solver. I thank him a million times to protect my dignity and reputation.”


D.G.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Divelbiss in the past and know him to be a hard working professional. His attention to detail and care for his clients set him apart from the rest!”


Joshua Black, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is a hard worker and will advocate for his clients with an attention to detail that you don’t see very often these days.”


Brandon White, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


Josephine Hallam, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss and I worked in the same office, although we were at different law firms. He was eager to learn and developed a reputation for honesty and zealous advocacy.”


Kristopher Califano, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss is a GREAT attorney, very honest and reliable. He takes his times with every client and answers all questions and concerns. Is been a pleasure working with Mr. Divelbiss and he serves his clients very well!”


Allen Hsu, Attorney

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WHAT TO EXPECT AT TRIAL

 

Now that your case has been set for trial, you may be wondering what happens next? How does a criminal trial work? Regardless of the specific crimes with which you are charged, your trial will unfold in stages. Here is a brief overview of the usual order of the proceedings:

JURY SELECTION

Jury selection is the first stage of the trial. On the day your trial is scheduled to begin, a group of prospective jurors will be summoned to the courthouse. From this group (called a “venire”), the prosecutor and your defense attorney will select the jurors who will decide your case. This is accomplished through a process called “voir dire,” in which the judge and/or the attorneys question the prospective jurors, and then the attorneys decide whether to keep a particular individual or to “strike” him from jury.

Both your defense attorney and the prosecutor have an unlimited number of “for cause” strikes. That is, the parties can strike any juror who cannot be fair and impartial and decide the case on the law and evidence presented in court. In addition, both sides have a limited number of “peremptory” strikes. These are, essentially, strikes for “no cause”; the party challenging the juror does not have to give a reason for exercising a peremptory strike. However, neither the prosecutor nor your defense attorney may exercise a peremptory strike on the basis of a juror’s race, gender, ethnicity or religion.

There is no such thing as a perfect jury, but your attorney’s goal will be to weed out “bad jurors” (those individuals whose biases are harmful to your case and whose beliefs are so entrenched that they could not deliver an impartial verdict) and to keep “good” jurors (those who will champion your cause during deliberations). To learn about the jurors, the judge and/or the attorney will ask questions about, for example:

• Beliefs in the credibility of police officers.
• Attitudes toward victims’ rights and memberships in any such organizations.
• Attitudes towards particular defenses or personal experiences that might bear on them, such as misidentification (e.g., “Have you ever had the experience of waving at someone you thought you knew, and then realizing it was the wrong person?”).
• Reactions to a defendant’s decision not to testify.
• Prior jury service.
• Case-specific issues, e.g., in a gun case, attitudes toward firearms; in a drug case, attitudes toward addiction and personal experiences with family members and friends who have had drug problems.

OPENING STATEMENTS

Once a jury has been selected and sworn to serve, the parties will proceed with opening statements. Opening statements are a chance for both the prosecution and the defense to tell the jury what they expect the evidence to show at trial. The prosecutor will go first, and then your defense attorney will give an opening statement on your behalf. This is your attorney’s first opportunity to the jurors your side of the story and to shape the jury’s perception of the evidence before they hear from a single witness. A good opening statement, however, will do more than that. A smart defense attorney will use the opening statement to undermine the credibility of the government’s witnesses before they take the stand, to change the jurors’ perception of the case as a whole, and to give them reason to distrust the prosecutor.

PROSECUTION’S CASE-IN-CHIEF

The next phase of the trial is the state’s case-in-chief. This is the phase of the trial during which the state will call witnesses and present its evidence against you. Individuals with relevant information will be called to the stand and sworn to tell the truth under penalty of perjury. The prosecutor will ask the witness open-ended questions (e.g., “Tell the jurors what you saw …”), and the witnesses respond. This is called direct examination.

When the prosecutor has finished questioning a witness, your defense attorney will have an opportunity to question the witness on “cross-examination.” Cross-examination is your defense attorney’s opportunity to point out the holes in the prosecution witness’ testimony and to challenge the witness’ credibility. The goal of cross-examination is to raise a reasonable doubt as to your guilt in the minds of the jurors.

When your defense attorney has finished his cross-examination of a witness, the prosecution will have one last opportunity to ask follow-up questions to try to bolster the witness’ testimony. This is called “rebuttal.”

This process of direct examination, followed by cross-examination, followed by rebuttal will occur with every witness called to the stand.

Once the state has finished calling witnesses and presenting its evidence, the state will “rest.”

DEFENSE CASE

When the state “rests,” it is your attorney’s turn to present your defense. Your attorney may or may not call witnesses to testify on your behalf. You may testify in your defense or you may choose to exercise your right to remain silent. This is a tactical decision you and your defense attorney will make together. The bottom line is this: You do not have to prove your innocence; the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. At the conclusion of the defense case, your attorney will “rest.”

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is a hard worker and will advocate for his clients with an attention to detail that you don’t see very often these days.”


Brandon White, Attorney

Experienced Phoenix DUI Attorney

Our mission is to help keep good people out of jail by balancing the criminal justice playing field so that each of our clients has a fighting chance to achieve realistic outcomes for their individual legal situations.

REBUTTAL

When the defense rests, the state has another chance to present witnesses and evidence related to the defense’s case. This is called rebuttal. The state is allowed to have the last word because of the heavy burden of establishing proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CLOSING ARGUMENTS

When all the evidence has been presented, the attorneys will give their closing arguments. Closing arguments are a chance for both sides to try to persuade the jury either to convict or acquit. The prosecutor will address the jury first, followed by your defense attorney. The prosecutor then gets the last word, with one more opportunity to address the jury in rebuttal.

JURY INSTRUCTIONS, DELIBERATIONS AND VERDICT

Following closing arguments, the judge will instruct the jurors regarding the law they must apply to the facts of the case in reaching their verdict. The jury is then excused to the jury room to begin their deliberations. The jury will begin by selecting a foreperson to act as their representative. The jurors will then discuss the evidence and the governing law, as set forth in the instructions, and vote on the issue of your guilt or innocence. Once the jury has reached a unanimous verdict, the foreperson will deliver the decision to the court. If the jury finds you not guilty, then the case is over and you will be released from the criminal justice system. If the jury finds you guilty, then the trial is over, but you must prepare for post-trial proceedings, including sentencing.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is a hard worker and will advocate for his clients with an attention to detail that you don’t see very often these days.”


Brandon White, Attorney

Experienced Phoenix DUI Attorney

Our mission is to help keep good people out of jail by balancing the criminal justice playing field so that each of our clients has a fighting chance to achieve realistic outcomes for their individual legal situations.

KNOWLEDGEABLE PHOENIX DUI ATTORNEY

We help keep GOOD people out of jail — Future First Criminal Law is your top choice for competitive criminal defense and DUI law firms. Our practice is limited to a small number of criminal defense clients to best devote all of our time and attention to EVERY client’s needs. We understand that your future is at risk and our team will work diligently to develop an unwavering defense in court.

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Have you been involved in DUI? Contact an attorney today to protect your rights and freedoms. They can help you gain an understanding of the criminal defense legal process and learn about the options available to you. Create a thorough defense strategy to give you your best chances — Schedule a free consultation.

 

Find The Right Phoenix, AZ DUI Attorney For Your Case

If you need a DUI attorney in Arizona, Look for an experienced criminal defense law firm that can dedicate all of their time and resources to helping clients with criminal charges. Find a knowledgeable DUI attorney who is willing to educate and advocate through every step of the legal process. Future First Criminal Law will get to know your case and develop a strategy that will work best for you. Request a free consultation today.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

Allen Hsu, Attorney

“Mr. Divelbiss is a GREAT attorney, very honest and reliable. He takes his times with every client and answers all questions and concerns. It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Divelbiss and he serves his clients very well!”

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8650 N. 35th Ave. Suite 110, Phoenix, AZ 85018

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54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


J.S.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I hired Zachary after I found myself charged with a felony. He put me at ease right away and during the whole process he explained each step to where I understood everything and was always available for any questions I had. ”


S.N.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Zachary is a brilliant attorney, I highly recommend his company to resolve any legal/criminal matter satisfactorily. He still continue to work on my case to tie some loose ends. He is intelligent , prompt and a problem solver. I thank him a million times to protect my dignity and reputation.”


D.G.

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Divelbiss in the past and know him to be a hard working professional. His attention to detail and care for his clients set him apart from the rest!”


Joshua Black, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is a hard worker and will advocate for his clients with an attention to detail that you don’t see very often these days.”


Brandon White, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Attorney Divelbiss is bright, hard-working, and well-versed in criminal law. His legal writing is superb, and his commitment to his clients is outstanding. He will fight for you and offer you the best defense possible. Additionally, he is a pleasure to work with. I fully endorse this lawyer.”


Josephine Hallam, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss and I worked in the same office, although we were at different law firms. He was eager to learn and developed a reputation for honesty and zealous advocacy.”


Kristopher Califano, Attorney

54+ Five-Star Google Reviews

“Mr. Divelbiss is a GREAT attorney, very honest and reliable. He takes his times with every client and answers all questions and concerns. Is been a pleasure working with Mr. Divelbiss and he serves his clients very well!”


Allen Hsu, Attorney