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Mode of Trial - Bench or Jury?
If you are heading to trial the judge will ask your lawyer what "mode of trial" you wish to have. That means you have a choice between a bench trial and a jury trial.
Bench or Jury?
What is the difference between "going bench" or "going jury?" In a bench trial the judge decides your guilt or innocence. In a jury trial a group of your fellow citizens decides guilt or innocence. You are entitled to a jury trial if your charges include a misdemeanor or felony. If they are violation-level offenses, you must have a bench trial.
You might choose a jury trial if the judge is well-known as being prosecution-friendly. (This is a really important reason as to why you should hire a local lawyer for your criminal case.) You might choose a bench trial if the case includes unsavory facts but - strictly speaking - you could be found innocent based on a legalistic view of the case. (Judges have seen it all, and your judge may be less likely to convict based on an emotional response to facts than a jury would be.) Ultimately you need to have a serious conversation with your attorney about this most important choice.