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Illinois Criminal Defense: Bench trial or Jury trial - what's the difference, and who chooses?

In Illinois, as in most of the country, all people facing criminal charges have the right to a trial. Whether to go to trial in the first place is an important decision by itself. Just as important is what type of trial. There are two types of trials available under the law - bench trial or jury trial - and there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

This choice is so important, that it is protected in the US and Illinois Constitution, and it is presumed that you'll proceed to jury trial unless you specifically waive that right.

Because this decision can affect your freedom, the choice of a bench trial or a jury trial in a criminal setting should only be made with the help of an experienced, knowledgable Illinois criminal lawyer, after a careful investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding your case.

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