This is the next post in a series of articles discussing defending against stalking or harassment charges in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our previous post addressed how to respond to situations in which one is falsely accused of stalking or harassment. Defending against the accusations, even when fabricated, is essential to avoid the potentially serious consequences that may result. An experienced criminal attorney can protect your interests and assist with getting the matter resolved. In this post, we will discuss what one may expect in court if a stalking or harassment charge proceeds to trial. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
As in other criminal trials, the first step in a stalking or harassment trial is the selection of a jury. After being summoned for jury duty, the individuals in the “jury pool” will be questioned by the prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge to determine whether they are able to evaluate the case in an unbiased manner. Each side is permitted to eliminate a certain number of potential jurors based on their answers, however, jurors may not removed be for discriminatory reasons such as on the basis of sex, race, or ethnicity. Once the final jury is empaneled, the prosecutor and defense counsel begin the trial by each presenting their respective opening statements, which provide an overview of their respective cases to the judge and jury. The prosecution will then present its case, which includes calling witnesses and presenting objective evidence in support of the allegations. The defense will then have an opportunity to present its case. After both sides conclude, attorneys for both sides will present closing arguments. The jury will then begin deliberations and, when complete, render their verdict.
Criminal trials often involve complex factual and legal issues that may not be easily explainable to members of the jury. It is imperative, therefore, to retain a criminal defense attorney with the skills necessary to communicate the evidence and defense strategies in a way that the jury will clearly understand. For example, if an individual is accused of harassing a victim by following them to work repeatedly, the prosecution may present surveillance footage, GPS location information, or eyewitness testimony. Defense counsel, on the other hand, may have additional information, such as phone records, text or email messages, or social media communications, demonstrating that the accused was actually invited to meet the individual at work or was there for another unrelated reason. A criminal attorney with trial experience will have the skills necessary to communicate the facts and legal arguments clearly and effectively to the jury.
When your case is not resolved before a trial, the ultimate outcome is in the hands of the jury. Your selection of a criminal defense attorney to represent you during the process can significantly impact your case. Our Little Rock lawyers are experienced in stalking and harassment trials and are ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.