There are two types of criminal trials in Massachusetts. All defendants are entitled to a jury trial, however, they can waive a jury and have a bench trial.
Bench Trial in Massachusetts
A bench trial is a trial without a jury. It is conducted by a Judge. The judge rules on issues of law and fact. The judge decides all of the issues in the case as well as imposes a sentence if the judge finds the defendant guilty of the crime. A bench trial does not have to be selected until the day of trial. Typically someone selects a bench trial because they have a clear issue and feel confident of ruling by the judge. Judges have track records and are easier to predict what they will do rather than a jury.
Jury Trial in Massachusetts
A jury in District Court in Massachusetts consists of six people randomly selected from the community. In Superior Court, there are 12 jury members. In selecting a Massachusetts district court criminal jury both sides, the prosecutor and the defense attorney are allowed to strike as many members for cause as well as two peremptory challenges. A challenge for cause must be approved by a judge and be for a specific reason like the person is unable to be fair. A peremptory challenge in Massachusetts can be used for any reason. It is the jury’s decision to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty. The judge decides issues of law and the jury decides issues of fact. A jury trial is normally longer and more formal than a bench trial.
BEST MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL TRIALS LAWYER
Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Patrick T. Donovan is committed to representing people who have been accused of and charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes in Boston, Quincy, and throughout all of Massachusetts. Attorney Donovan has been lead counsel on numerous felony and misdemeanor bench and jury trials.
Attorney Patrick T. Donovan is committed to aggressively pursuing the best possible outcome for each and every one of our clients. As a trial attorney Patrick Donovan will fight hard for great results.
A former Assistant District Attorney, Patrick Donovan is well aware of the many legal strategies both law enforcement and district attorneys will use when trying to obtain a criminal conviction. Mr. Donovan uses his prior knowledge as a prosecutor to his clients’ advantage by challenging evidence submitted by Commonwealth’s attorneys, investigating faulty law enforcement procedures, and ultimately building the strongest case possible for every single one of his clients.
Call the Law Office of Patrick T. Donovan today for your free initial consultation at 617 479-1800.
Boston Criminal Attorney Patrick T. Donovan has successfully represented clients located in: Boston, Dorchester, West Roxbury, Hyde Park, South Boston, East Boston, Quincy, Brighton, Allston, Milton, Weymouth, Randolph, Braintree, Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, Rockland, Amherst, Dedham, Norwood, Wrentham, Brookline, Weston, Natick, Cambridge, Somerville, Westwood, Needham, Wellesley, Stoughton, Brockton, Canton, Sharon, Avon, Revere, Cape Cod. Plymouth, Duxbury, Hanover, and Massachusetts.