What happens at trial?
The trial may be before a jury of twelve people or a judge alone if the defendant so requests. The trial begins with both sides having an opportunity to make an opening statement on the facts they expect to prove. The prosecutor then presents the State's case by using witnesses and exhibits. When the prosecutor has finished, the defense attorney may given an opening statement if it has not already been given. The defense attorney then may present a case using witnesses and exhibits. The defendant is not required to prove anything.

The defendant is present in the courtroom during the entire trial. The defendant can decide not to testify. Once the defense has completed its case, both sides are allowed to make closing arguments, with the prosecutor going first. The judge or jury will then review the evidence they have heard and make a decision of guilty or not guilty. The prosecutor beyond a reasonable doubt must prove the defendant guilty. All jurors have to agree on the verdict. For more information, please contact the Attorney's Office at Faribault 507-332-6103, Northfield 507-645-9576, or
Lonsdale 507-744-5185.

Show All Answers

1. Can I report a crime to the County Attorney's Office?
2. How do I obtain copies of criminal reports?
3. How does a judge decide a sentence?
4. What happens at trial?
5. What happens next in a criminal case?