Individuals charged with DUI offenses have the option of choosing a bench trial or a jury trial for their hearing. A bench trial is a trial that is heard by a judge, and the verdict is delivered by the judge. A jury trial will be presided over by a judge but the jury will deliver the verdict for the case.
Whether a lawyer suggests that an individual proceed to a jury trial or have the case heard by a judge will depend on the specific circumstances of each DUI case. If an individual is unsure of which trial might best suit their case, they should speak with a knowledgeable DUI attorney that can determine if jury trials for Mecklenburg County DUIs, are right for them.
In order for a jury to convict an individual, all 12 members of the jury must agree that the prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that 12 people must come to an agreement on the specifics of the case increase the likelihood that the case might be dismissed. Whether or not a case is suitable for a jury depends on what issues might be present in each individual case.
The benefits of jury trials in Mecklenburg County DUIs will depend largely on the specifics of each case, but it includes the fact that in order for an individual to be convicted, all 12 members of the jury must agree that the prosecution has proven its case against the individual beyond a reasonable doubt. That can be a difficult burden for the prosecution to bear and sometimes is to the benefit of the accused individual.
Some of the disadvantages of a jury trial include that juries tend to sentence people more harshly than judges. That is based on a number of factors, including the fact that the judges have sentencing guidelines that they must reference prior to sentencing an individual, whereas a jury does not have that frame of reference and will often be sentencing a person without the experience of having heard previous criminal cases.
The jury selection process is designed to eliminate any jurors who might have a bias against the individual or a bias against the prosecution or, for any other reason, might not be able to neutrally hear the trial. Many questions will be directed to the jurors by the prosecution and the defense, and a jury pool will be narrowed down to the 12 individuals selected to serve and hear the case on that day.
The benefit of working with a local DUI lawyer is that they should have experience experience with DUI trials, with local judges, and with juries. An experienced attorney could provide great insight to an individual to help them make a decision as to whether or not to proceed to trial. A skilled lawyer could provide invaluable guidance on whether or not an individual has good prospects of succeeding at trial, and determining what kind of trial is right for them. If an individual wants to know more about jury trials for Mecklenburg County DUIs, they should speak with a lawyer that could answer their questions and advocate for them.