When Should I Choose A Jury Trial?
Trials are one of the most important parts of the criminal justice process. If you have been accused of committing a crime, a trial makes sure that you have the opportunity to plead your case before a decision is made in your case. During a jury trial, your lawyer will argue your case to a jury, which is made up by your peers. Juries are typically made up of people in your community and they will decide your case’s outcome. Jury trials are different from bench trials. During a bench trial only you, your lawyer, the prosecutor, and the judge are present.
In a criminal case, you may face a bench trial, but you also have the constitutional right to request a jury trial. Many people do not know when they should request a jury trial or how to handle their case. Below, our Ouachita Parish criminal defense lawyer explains when a jury trial is appropriate.
Jury Trials Hold Many Benefits
Jury trials are much more common than bench trials, according to the Pew Research Center. The majority of defendants in criminal trials choose a jury trial, and there are many reasons for it. Jury trials are thought of as being much fairer to the defendant because the jury is made up of a group of your peers, who are usually members of your community. Due to the fact that the members of a jury live where you live and work where you work, they can often relate more to a defendant than a judge can.
Juries also rely on many people to make the decision in a criminal case, which can be more beneficial than just one judge making the decision. Juries bring different opinions and experiences to a case when making their decision but still, it must be unanimous.
When to Ask for a Trial By Jury
A jury trial is often appropriate when a case is relatable to the average person. If the jury can relate to any aspect of a case, they may be better able to understand what the defendant is going through. In these cases, a jury may be able to put themselves in the shoes of the defendant and see the situation from their perspective.
It can also be beneficial to request a trial by jury when there is an emotional aspect to a case. When a defendant’s case involves an emotional appeal, juries are often more sympathetic and understanding. While judges may focus on the legal and technical aspects of a case, juries may be more moved by the emotional elements.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ouachita Parish Can Provide Sound Legal Advice
There are benefits and drawbacks to jury trials, so you should always speak to an Ouachita Parish criminal defense lawyer before making your decision. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Ouachita Parish criminal defense lawyer can advise you of your legal options and help determine which one is right for you. Call us now at 318-387-2776 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.