A bench trial is a trial that takes place before a judge. During a bench trial, facts and evidence are presented to the judge, who acts as the trier of fact. The judge hears testimony and is presented with evidence, and then the judge determines whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. For misdemeanor crimes in Nevada, if the case proceeds to trial, the trial will be held before a judge, without a jury.
If the prosecution charges a defendant with a gross misdemeanor or a felony in Nevada, then the law requires the defendant to be afforded a trial before a jury. In a trial before a jury, the jury is the trier of fact, not the judge, and the jury makes determines the defendant's guilt or innocence. If the crime is punishable by death, the jury determines whether the death penalty is to be imposed.