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What Happens During a Criminal Trial in Texas?

By Sholdon Daniels

A pencil drawing of a man standing trial in a court of law.
Enduring a jury trial can be stressful and exhausting.

If you're facing criminal charges in Texas, you're faced with a choice: either take a plea deal to dispose of your case, or take your case to trial. Before you make a decision, take time to understand what happens during a criminal trial. Here's an overview of the process to get you going with your study:

Jury Selection:

The first step in a criminal trial is the selection of the jury. Potential jurors are selected at random from the community and questioned to determine if they can be impartial and fair in the trial.

Opening Statements:

After the jury has been selected, the trial begins with opening statements from the prosecution and defense attorneys. The opening statements provide an overview of the case and what each side hopes to prove.

Presentation of Evidence:

The prosecution and defense attorneys present their cases through the presentation of evidence, which may include witness testimony, physical evidence, and other exhibits. The prosecution goes first, and the defense has the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and challenge the evidence presented.

Closing Arguments:

Once all the evidence has been presented, the prosecution and defense give closing arguments. The closing arguments summarize the evidence and attempt to persuade the jury to reach a verdict in their favor.

Jury Deliberation:

After the closing arguments, the jury is given instructions on the law and the evidence, and they retire to the jury room to deliberate. The jury must reach a unanimous verdict in order to convict or acquit the defendant.


Once the jury has reached a verdict, it is announced in open court. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will set a date for sentencing. If the defendant is found not guilty, they are free to go.


If the defendant is found guilty, they have the right to appeal the decision. An appeal is a review of the trial by a higher court to determine if any errors were made that may have affected the outcome of the trial.

Understanding what happens during a criminal trial in Texas can help you prepare for your case and make informed decisions about your legal options. If you're facing criminal charges in Texas, it's important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can guide you through the process and build a strong defense for your case. Don't rely on friends that have been to prison or family members that have zero experience practicing law in a courtroom. Also, don't hesitate to contact my office at 1-844-SHOLDON for a consultation.

Follow me on twitter at @SholdonDaniels.

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