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What are the requirements to waive trial by jury?

Saint Louis, MO |
Filed under: Civil rights

I am under the impression that it works this way:

For civil trials, there is not always a right to trial by jury. When there is a right to it, there will be a jury if either side requests it.

For criminal trials, there is a right to trial by jury if the maximum sentence is greater than (but not equal to?) six months. The defendant can waive this. I don't know whether the prosecution must also agree to it.

Is that correct? Can a criminal defendant force the prosecution into a bench trial for a serious offense, or do both sides have to agree?

Attorney Answers 2


In criminal cases, defendant has right to waive trial and have a bench trial.

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in most cases the prosecutor will not push for a trial by jury and be happy to go to a bench trial. So go ahead and wave your trial by jury and most likely will go just to the judge.

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