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Why you need to be engaged in the jury selection process

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

 You have a constitutional right to be tried by a jury of your peers. This protection seeks to provide you with a fair trial where a unanimous decision must be made as to your guilt before a conviction can be obtained.

Fortunately, you’ll get to have a say in what the makeup of the jury looks like before your trial starts. Jury selection may seem like a minor logistical step in your case, but it’s actually incredibly important.

Why jury selection matters in your case

Potential jurors come to court with their own lived experienced, biases, and perceptions. Some of those characteristics won’t be favorable to you. Yet, if you’re not active and engaged in the jury selection process, some of these individuals might make it onto your jury, which could unfairly put you at an increased risk of being convicted.

How jury selection works

Before jurors are chosen, you and the prosecution will have the opportunity to ask potential jurors several questions. During this process, you should look for any indicators that the juror will be unfair toward you. If you have cause to believe that they’ll be biased in some fashion, then you can move the court to exclude them from the jury for cause.

You’ll also have a limited number of times that you can remove a potential juror without any explanation. You just have to be careful that you don’t give the perception that you’re removing jurors based on their existence in a protected class, such as their race.

The smallest details matter in your criminal defense

Logistical steps like jury selection can feel like they don’t have much of an impact on the direction of your case, but that simply isn’t true. Even seemingly minor issues can make a huge difference in your case and can create appellate issues that may be favorable to you.

As you prepare to head into your criminal case, you should have a firm understanding of the law and be prepared to aggressively advocate for your position regardless of what issue you’re facing.