Bench vs Jury Trial

What Is a Bench Trial and How Is it Different from a Jury Trial?

June 8, 2016

Most people assume that there are only a few outcomes that can occur in a criminal case. In most circumstances, the defendant may be offered a plea bargain by the court. If this happens, the defendant may be given a lighter sentence in exchange for entering a guilty plea. In other situations, the defendant may opt to go to a jury trial.

In a jury trial, the defendant and his or her lawyer will plead their case in the hopes of convincing the jury to issue a verdict of not guilty. However, this is not the only type of trial that is available to a defendant. In some cases, a defendant may have the option to undergo a bench trial.