Can you lose your right to a jury trial if charged with DUI?
How do I know if a Judge or Jury Trial is best for me?
Arriving to the conclusion that fighting your DUI charge is your greatest option is best suited between you and your experienced, professional, reputable lawyer. They have all the necessary skills to understand your particular case, helping you navigate the details needed to define your best options for clearing up your criminal record as well as your credit report. Your lawyer will be fully equipped to communicate adequately and clearly exactly what you are seeking with respect to the laws of the land and the courts. Be advised that your attorney will most likely refer you to a jury trial, but you are best advised and empowered to make the final decision for your process when you do your own research, have the foundation you need to make a sound judgment, and openly communicate your findings with your lawyer. The following information is intended to do just that, provide a firm platform for you to assess whether a Judge or Jury Trial is best for you, so that you have all you need to have that open and transparent communication with your attorney and arrive to the best case scenario for your particular case.
The down side to a Jury Trial:
- Defendents who elect for a jury trial will find the State is more inclined to send a more experienced prosecutor against them, than if the case was being seen simply in front of a Judge
- There is a complicated and very technical process for the Rules of Evidence, and if the Judge is resentful of the time and trouble caused by Jury Trials he may insist on a very strict following of each and every rule (very difficult for you to follow if you are representing yourself)
- The Jury will be comprised of 6-12 people who are drivers, and most likely agrivated to be in a court room while potentially seeing you as a reckless driver holding a tenuous claim
- The time period for a Jury Trial is significantly longer than simply appearing before a Judge, therefore the costs will definitely be much higher as well enfringe on your job security
The up side to a Jury Trial:
- Though a Jury may be unsympathetic to your reckless driving and tenuous claim, they could equally be sensitive to your victimization within the Traffic Court process and find your defense presentation convincing, thus making them more likely to side with you
- If your particular case has you facing especially serious cconsequences from a guilty verdict, it may be to your benifit to have the emotions of a Jury to sympathize with you on losing your driver's license and higher insurance premiums over a Judge who has presided for years and heard these cases multiple times
- Because the time frame for a Jury Trial is extremely lengthy and carries such high costs, because you have chosen to ask for one, the likelihood of the Judge concluding more quickly and you being empowered to move on with your life is more likely with a Judge to save on costs and time being consumed by all envolved
Final thoughts that could potentially influence your choice:
- You are required to participate in the process of choosing your Jury for the Jury Trial
- Your State has specific requirements regarding the number of jurors to be present in your trial. You cannot assume that because you demand a Jury Trial that you will be awarded 12 people to hear your case and come to a unanimous decision. Your attorney, or you, should check with your Court Clerk for your specific State's rules.
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