What is the difference between a Bench Trial vs Jury Trial in Arizona?

Cindy Castillo Arizona Law

Start Transcript
Bench trial vs jury trial

Hello my name is Cindy Castillo with Castillo Law. Today I would like to talk to you about the difference between a bench trial and a jury trial.

You may have been asked whether or not you want to waive a jury trial and go before a judge and present your evidence to a judge versus a jury. Now not all cases are jury trial eligible. What that basically means is that here in the state of Arizona the state of Arizona does not always give you an opportunity to have a trial by a jury and you have to have your evidence presented to a judge. That means a judge is going to make the decision about the strength of the state’s case against you.

If you choose to go to a jury trial and if you’re eligible for a jury trial that means that a jury of your peers will be determining what the evidence is and whether or not it sufficient to convict you for the crime. There are many advantages to having a jury trial versus a bench trial, however there are certain circumstances where you may want a judge to determine the evidence against you. It’s not necessarily a clear answer as to which one is always beneficial and you should always speak with an attorney as to which one might benefit you in the long run.

However one of the things you might want to consider is what is your jury pool? Who is your jury pool? If we are talking about a misdemeanor situation and you have been charged in say a location where there are certain people who are over a certain age that always comes into court. You may not want an older generation making the decision about your case. There might be certain biases for certain justice precincts.

You should always consider this information before you wave your jury trial. Again you are not always eligible for jury trial, this is something they should always speak with your attorney about.

If this is something that is still considering and you need additional information feel free to contact me I do offer free consultations.
End Transcript