Order of Presentation of Evidence

The order of presentation of evidence at a trial does not vary based on whether it is a trial before a jury or a Judge sitting alone. It remains the same. It is as follows:

1. Each side has a chance to present its case. The prosecution goes first. This makes sense because it is the obligation of the prosecutor to prove any criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused is presumed to be innocent. As such, the accused is not required to prove his innocence. The accused is never required to testify or even to present evidence. The prosecution is required to call evidence in order to prove the charge or charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This never changes.

2. At the end of the prosecutor’s case the accused may choose to call evidence, or, choose not to call any evidence. If the accused does call evidence the calling of evidence by the defence opens the possibility that the prosecution may call evidence in reply after the defence has completed its evidence. The evidence that can be produced in reply is, however, limited. The reply evidence must respond to the new evidence that has been presented by the defence.

2022 Criminal Trial Strategies - Patrick J Ducharme

The above is the an excerpt of Patrick J Ducharme’s book, Criminal Trial Strategies, available at Amazon or in bulk through MedicaLegal Publishing.

Read or listen to the Preface and Introduction and subscribe to Patrick Ducharme’s Youtube Channel.