Jury vs. Bench Trials: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Both

Bench Trial vs. Jury Trial: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Both

August 23, 2017

What’s the best option to render your trial verdict—a jury or a judge? In a criminal trial, the defendant is allowed to choose to have a trial by jury or a trial by judge, also called a bench trial.

There are specific advantages to having your case heard in a bench trial instead of a jury trial. Bench trials are often:

  • Less time-consuming
  • Less complex than a jury trial
  • Less formal (your defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney are sometimes able to discuss and agree on some—or all—of the pertinent case facts)
  • Chosen by the defendant in cases presenting with complex facts or legal subtleties

The judge of a bench trial is also provided with a stipulation of facts instead of the presentation of witness testimony and documentary evidence to determine the case facts. He or she decides whether the presented evidence warrants a guilty or not guilty verdict.

Have you been charged with a crime?
Contact a defense attorney at the Law Office of Brett A. Podolsky