Criminal Procedures

Trial Process

Can a defendant waive his or her right to a jury?

Yes, a criminal defendant can waive his or her right to a trial by jury and proceed with a bench (trial only by a judge) trial. This usually is not advisable, as the defendant probably has a better chance before a jury. The vast majority of jurisdictions require that juries be unanimous, which holds out the possibility that a few jurors will not go along with other jury members and vote to convict. Furthermore, defense attorneys have a large role in selecting the jury, which can be to the advantage of their clients.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Law Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App