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What does it mean to have a jury trial?


People who are facing criminal charges usually have a lengthy criminal process in front of them. One way that this will be resolved is through a jury trial. In this case, the prosecution and defense both present their sides to a group of the defendant’s peers. That panel of citizens would determine whether the person is guilty or not guilty of the charges against them.

Some people don’t really understand what it means to have a jury trial. Learning a little bit about the jury and the process might help.

Who makes up the jury?

While the jury is said to be a group of the defendant’s peers, this doesn’t mean that it’s people who are in the same socioeconomic status or those who are exactly like the defendant. Instead, it means that the people who are on the jury panel are a fair representation of the local community. Both sides of the case can reject jurors who they don’t believe will be able to remain impartial and fair. For example, the defense might reject a police officer’s close relative as a juror if the case is for the murder of a police officer.

What does the jury do?

The jurors are normal citizens, usually who don’t have legal training. They have to be able to understand the evidence and testimony in the case, as well as the instructions of the court. They must pay close attention to what’s going on because they’ll ultimately work together to determine if a person is convicted or not.

Anyone who’s facing a felony charge can opt to have a jury trial. While many cases are resolved before the trial, it’s imperative for all defendants to have a defense strategy in place if they end up going through a trial. This isn’t something that can be rushed, so be sure to get started as quickly as possible.

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