If you have plans to fight a traffic ticket that you are facing, you could request a jury to decide whether or not you are responsible for paying the fine. A jury trial can take time and requires preparation. It is because of this, you need to know about what to expect in the process so that you can decide whether or not asking for a jury is the best choice for you.
Do You Need a Jury?
A jury is not required to hear your challenge to a traffic ticket. You could choose to present your case to the judge and let him or her make a decision regarding your guilt or innocence. However, there are some benefits of opting for the jury over the judge.
A jury is more likely to be sympathetic to you since it comprises drivers who might have also gotten tickets they did not believe were justified. There is also the possibility that you do not need to have a majority to win. In some states, having a majority of people siding in your favor is enough to win your challenge.
Who Chooses the Jury?
Just like other cases involving a jury, you, your attorney, and the prosecutor have a say in who sits on the jury. Your attorney can question potential jurors to determine if they have any pre-conceived notions about cases such as yours and to if they have any relationships with anyone involved in the case, including the police officer who issued the citation.
If your attorney feels that the juror has a bias against you or he or she just does not seem like a good fit for your case, your attorney can object to his or her inclusion on the jury. The judge has the final say on whether or not the reason provided by your attorney is good enough to dismiss the juror. Once the jury is in place, the trial can start.
What Happens during the Trial?
The trial is pretty standard. Both your attorney and the prosecutor can choose to make opening statements. Your attorney can call on his or her witnesses and the prosecutor can choose to cross-examine them. Once the prosecutor has had the chance to present his or her witnesses, closing statements can be made. After the jury receives deliberation instructions from the judge, they can move to the jury room and make a decision regarding the case. In the event that the jury decides against you, you can file an appeal. Your criminal traffic attorney can help you determine if there is a good chance to win the appeal.
Fighting a traffic ticket with a jury is possible, but you need to carefully consider whether or not it is the best option for your particular case.