Trials are fundamental parts of the justice process. If you’re accused of a crime, they ensure that you have a chance to plead your case before a decision is made. In a jury trial, you get to plead your case before a group of your peers. Juries are typically a random assortment of people from your community who will be the deciding factor in your case’s outcome. A jury trial is distinct from a bench trial, also known as a trial by judge. In bench trials, it’s only you, your attorney, and the judge.
In criminal cases, you may face a bench trial, but you can request a jury trial. Due to The 7th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, it is our constitutional right to request a jury trial. At a time like this, it can be challenging to decide what to do and how to handle your case. Read on to find out when you may want to request a jury trial.
What Are the Benefits of a Jury Trial?
According to the Pew Research Center, bench trials are significantly less common than jury trials. Most defendants choose to request jury trials, and there could be a reason for that. Jury trials have the perception of being fairer. This may be because a jury is composed of your peers, which means that the people judging you will be members of your community. As members of your community, they may be able to relate to you more than a judge could.
Also, a jury relies on multiple people making a decision. Instead of having a single judge determine the outcome of your case, you will have multiple decision-makers. Your jurors will have different experiences and opinions, but they will need to be unanimous in their decision. Furthermore, it’s often said that no one likes jury duty. Depending on your case, everyone may be on one accord for the sole purpose of going home as soon as possible.
When Should You Request a Jury Trial?
You should consider requesting a jury trial if your case is relatable to the average person in your community. If your case is a relatable situation, the jury may be more understanding of what you’re going through. They may be able to put themselves in your shoes more easily and understand the situation from your perspective, which could work out in your favor.
Moreover, you should consider requesting a jury trial when your case has an emotional appeal. With an emotional appeal, you will be counting on the sympathy or empathy of your peers. A judge might focus on the technical legal aspects of your case, but a jury may be more sympathetic to your situation and focus on the emotional aspects of the case and the personal impact of the consequences.
Get Legal Advice from an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are advantages and disadvantages to a jury trial, but it’s wise to get legal advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Bossier City before you commit to a decision. Eric G. Johnson and his skilled staff have the knowledge and experience to give you the guidance you need. Located in Minden, Louisiana, John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is familiar with criminal law and personal injury cases. When confronted with such an important decision while in a high-stakes situation, it can be hard to know what’s the right decision.
If you want to know if a jury trial is right for your case, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The legal team at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm knows how important it is to make the right choice, and they are well equipped to lead you in the best direction for your case. To get your free consultation, fill out our contact form or call us at (318) 377-1555.