You may be offered a plea deal in your criminal case, but if there’s even a miniscule chance that your case may be headed to trial, then you need to know about jury selection. Why does jury selection matter? Simply put, the individuals who compose the jury will hold your future in their hands. If they come to court with biases against you, then you may be at a greater risk of conviction not based on the evidence presented, but simply based on those jurors’ personal beliefs.
Choosing a fair jury
To ensure that you receive the fair trial that you deserve, you need to be active in the jury selection process. When potential jurors are called into court, you’ll have the opportunity to ask them questions. The purpose here is to identify any existing knowledge of the case and any biases that may be disadvantageous to your position. If you have reason to believe that the potential juror won’t be fair, then you can ask that he or she be removed for cause.
You’ll also have a limited number of peremptory challenges. Here, you can have a potential juror removed without providing a reason. Keep in mind, though, that you can’t make your decision based on any discriminatory motivation.
Once all challenges have been made, you should have the right number of people to make up the jury. If not, then you may have to start the process over again.
Protect your right to a fair trial
The jury selection process may seem like a minor logistical step in your case, but its outcome can actually have significant consequences for your case. Therefore, before entering this process you should ensure that you know the law and do your homework on potential jurors so that you can ask the right questions during the jury selection process. If you think that you could benefit from some assistance in that regard, then you should take comfort in the fact that experienced criminal defense attorneys stand ready to assist you.