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Presenting the Case
About Presenting the Case 
  • As in all criminal trials, the State will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you.
  • After the prosecution witnesses have finished testifying, you have the right to cross-examine or question these witnesses about their testimony or other facts relevant to the case. You cannot argue with the witness. Your cross-examination must be in the form of a question. You may not tell your version of the incident at this time. You will have the opportunity to do so later in the trial.
  • After the prosecution has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows about the incident. The State has the right to cross-examine any witness that you call.
  • You may then testify on your own behalf. As a defendant you cannot be compelled or forced to testify. It is your choice. If you do testify, the State has the right to cross-examine you.
  • After all testimony is concluded, both sides may make a closing argument. This is your opportunity to tell the court why you think you are not guilty of the offense charged. The State has the right to present the first and last arguments. The closing argument can be based only on the testimony presented during the trial.