Protecting Your Sixth Amendment Right to a Jury Trial
When combating criminal charges, one of the most important duties a defense attorney is ethically obligated to provide for their client is ensuring the protection of their personal rights under the law. One important example is found in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees that, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” The right to a trial by jury of your peers is one of the most crucial tenements of the American criminal justice system, and any diligent criminal defense attorney will ensure that every one of their clients is well aware of this throughout any criminal proceeding.
This is not to say that all, or even most, criminal cases are settled by jury trials. In fact, the opposite is true. Over 95% of criminal matters are settled by way of plea bargain during the pre-trial process. Additionally, some clients elect to handle their matter through a bench trial, which means that the judge alone, not a jury, decides a defendant’s criminal culpability. Finally, in extenuating circumstances, case law has dictated that minor misdemeanor matters may not be entitled to jury trials, though this is very rare in Michigan.
However, at the end of the day, the right to give up or exercise the right to a trial by jury is a decision that lays in the hands of our clients alone. Our criminal defense team often consults with potential clients who feel that their rights in previous criminal proceedings were not properly explained to them by their former defense attorneys. However, once a defendant voluntarily gives up their right to a trial amidst criminal proceedings, it is very hard to unring that bell, so to speak (but not impossible)! For all of these reasons, if you’re facing criminal charges, we strongly urge you to consult with a criminal defense attorney who will fight for the best outcome in your particular case, all the while ensuring your rights are properly preserved.
Nothing is more important to us than protecting your personal liberties. If you need advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney regarding your rights, the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz can help. Please give us a call today and schedule your free consultation at 248-557-3645.