Criminal LawGeneral

Should I have my criminal or civil case tried by a judge or a jury?

There are many factors that may impact your decision to have your case tried by a judge or jury.  Some of those factors are listed below:

(1)   The demographics of the jurisdiction where the case is pending may dictate whether a trial by jury will be advantageous to you.  Whether the jury will be liberal or conservative, rich or poor, sympathetic to you or antagonized by you, educated or uneducated.

(2)   The leanings or inclination of the judge may dictate your choice.

(3)   Whether certain evidence may be excluded from the jury but heard by the judge even if determined to be inadmissible and therefore not “formally” allowed to consider it.

(4)   The time and cost associated with trying a case by a jury is also a factor.  Generally speaking, jury trials require more time.

(5)   Many believe that juries are more inclined to find a reasonable doubt precluding conviction.

(6)   Some believe that during the sentencing phase of a trial, that juries are more likely to deliver a harsher sentence to those with extensive criminal histories which is introduced into evidence during the sentencing phase of a criminal trial.


Ultimately the decision to have the case tried by a judge or jury is decision to be made after considering all of the factors with legal counsel.

The materials are prepared for information purposes only.  The materials are not legal advice and you should not act upon the information without seeking the advice of an attorney.  Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship.