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Know some basic considerations about a jury trial

If you are facing criminal charges, you will likely be reminded of your right to have a jury trial to determine the outcome of your case. The right to a jury trial is provided in the Bill of Rights. Of course, this right doesn't apply to all cases. Typically, you will be given the option of a jury trial if you are facing an imprisonment sentence of six months or more. That means that for petty misdemeanors, you probably won't have the right to a jury trial.

Jury trials are important for several reasons, including the fact they keep prosecutors from being able have unchecked and unlimited power. They also help to keep the criminal justice system fair because the fate of defendants isn't left solely in the hands of the judge who is presiding over their cases.

The problem with a jury trial is that jurors usually don't have legal training. This means that they can only consider what they are told. They have to go off of what other people tell them is the law and how the law should be interpreted. There is also the chance that they will let their emotions come into the decision-making process, which could be very unfair.

A jury determines the outcome of the case based only on what evidence is presented at the trial. If the jurors aren't paying attention, facts that are important can be lost in the process. That is one reason why it is crucial that juries are made up of multiple jurors.

Going to a jury trial is a big step in the criminal justice process. If you are considering a jury trial, make sure that you fully understand how the trial can affect you. Jury trials aren't without risks, but they also have benefits. Carefully consider all of these before making a decision.

Source: FindLaw, "What is the Role of a Jury in a Criminal Case?," accessed Sep. 29, 2016

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