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The right for a trial by Jury.

Reading, PA |

I went to district court on criminal charges. I lost and appealed. I have a court hearing tomorrow and it's my first one through the common wealth courts. I have no representation so I will be arriving early with all my paperwork, assuming I'm accepted and the judge appoints me a public defendant a continuance will most likely happen.

According to the PA laws that I've researched, I only get 20 days from my most recent plea to demand a trial by jury, will tomorrow be considered a plea? I'm going to go in, tell the prosecutor that I am indigent and pleading not guilty and need representation. At that time can I head over and file a request for a trail by jury or do I not longer have that right. Apparently if your ignorant to current laws and cant afford a lawyer your rights are "waived"

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You appealed a summary offense from district court. You are entitled to a new trial at the court of common pleas, however, you are not permitted to have a jury trial. It is suggested that you ask for a continuance , and retain a criminal attorney to represent you.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

Why am I not permitted to a jury trial?

Robert C. Keller

Robert C. Keller

Posted

In Pennsylvania, if the maximum penalty is under a year, there is no right to a jury trial.

Asker

Posted

Thanks Robert, 100% helpful

Posted

Unfortunately there are a lot of important facts not set forth, and some of what you have said is probably a product of your unfamiliarity with the law. I would hope that if you present yourself as polite and respectful to the Court that you will be given an opportunity to secure legal representation. If you wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me. Good luck.

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Posted

Your right to a jury trial depends on the charges against you. Without that information, it is impossible to answer the question.

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