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An Overview of Trials


Trial Background A trial is a legal movement where two bodies come together in order to resolve a dispute. There are two types of trials that can occur: a criminal trial and a civil trial. A criminal trial is often conducted using a jury trial, while a civil trial is often conducted using a bench trial system. Mock Trial A mock trial is a fictitious trial that is done in order to help individuals prepare for court. For attorneys, this is a way in which they can prepare their cases, and organize the evidence in appropriate fashion. Mock trial is also the name of a national extra-curricular activity, in which students conduct fictitious trials to gain legal experience and understanding. Bench Trial A bench trial is a trial that is conducted only using a judge; these types of trials are most often reserved for civil trials, where money or payments are concerned. Innocent Innocent is what individuals are considered to be before going into a trial; innocence is proven through evidence that a crime was not committed by an alleged person. The way in which an individual can be proclaimed innocent is through the verdict of a jury. Guilty Individuals who are alleged to be the guilty party in a crime must prove their innocence if they are not guilty. However, if they are guilty of a crime, they can submit a guilty plea to the court, for due process. Often, individuals who submit a guilty plea look for a reduction in sentence or some type of leniency. Continuance Continuance is an occurrence that can be brought on by request of the parties involved in a trial or by the judge. This is when the trial is suspended because of unforeseen circumstances or in order to help respective parties gather witnesses and formulate arguments. Trial by Jury Trial by jury is one of the preferred methods of the United States judicial system. This is where the accused individual’s case is heard by a jury and the verdict of the case is given by a jury; this is to insure fairness regarding the trial.

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