JURY OR JUDGE ALONE?
If you are charged with a criminal offence, and if you have decided that you are going to deny the charge by pleading not guilty (rather than pleading guilty and putting up a plea in mitigation), then you have to make a decision on a very big question.
See - Plea In Mitigation
If you have the right to elect to be dealt with by a jury, then you will need to make a decision on whether you have a better chance before a jury or before a Judge alone. This is a very difficult decision.
WHEN CAN YOU ELECT TRIAL BY JURY?
Not every charge allows you to elect to be dealt with by a jury. The cut-off point is when the maximum sentence of imprisonment allowed for is only up to three months imprisonment.
There are one or two exceptions such as common assault or assault on police officer under the Summary Offences Act 1981. Those offences are punishable by up to six months in prison, but you cannot elect to be dealt with by a jury. You must be tried by a District Court Judge sitting alone.
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