Have you ever noticed that some court cases have a jury that decides the verdict, while others simply have a judge? This isn’t just something in movies or TV shows. In real life, not all court hearings have a jury.
If you ever find yourself in a legal situation, it’s important to understand who will be presiding over your verdict. In many cases, you have a choice.
To know which scenario is best for you, let’s take a closer look at the different types of trials.
A trial without a jury is called a bench trial. In these trials, a judge determines the credibility of evidence and ultimately, hands out a verdict. Because it’s just one person deciding, and there’s no jury selection process, bench trials tend to go much faster.
Judges look almost exclusively at the strength of evidence in the light of the law. That means emotional arguments and ungrounded statements will quickly be tossed aside.
As you might assume, a jury trial is a one which has a jury. Juries are often used for more serious crimes, though that’s not always the case. Some types of cases, such as child custody, are not eligible for jury trials.
Jury trials are a more involved process, with jury selection and approval needing to take place. Additionally, a jury fee must be paid by the defendant.
Because of the process involved, jury trials typically take longer. Because juries are made up of civilians, they tend be more sympathetic and emotional.
The advantages of either a bench trial or a jury trial are very situational. Depending on your circumstance, one may be superior to the other.
It’s best to meet with a legal professional before making any decisions. They’ll examine your case, look at the evidence, discuss your options, and help make the choice that’s best for you. For an attorney in Springfield, Ohio, contact the team at Michael T. Edwards today!