In criminal law, you will often hear the term "jury" in cases. This word can refer to several different things, and the main two things are a grand jury and a trial jury. While both of these are a part of criminal law, they are very different, and here is an explanation of the differences between a grand jury and a trial jury.
The purpose of a grand jury
A grand jury is a group of everyday individuals who are called to serve as jurors in a case. The purpose of a grand jury is to hear the evidence surrounding a criminal case before the alleged criminal is actually charged with the crime in question. When the prosecutor receives a case about a potential crime and suspect, the prosecutor may take the case before a grand jury to find out what they think about the case. The grand jury will be able to hear the evidence the prosecutor has and vote on it.
With a grand jury, the decision on whether to prosecute a person or not does not need to be unanimous. As long as the majority of the jurors vote one way or the other, the prosecutor must go with that decision. If the jurors feel there is not enough evidence to prosecute, they may vote to drop the charges. If there is enough evidence, they may vote to prosecute the person.
The purpose of a trial jury
A trial jury is also made up of a group of everyday individuals who are summoned to serve as jurors in a case. The panel of jurors in a trial jury has one specific responsibility, which is to hear the facts of a case and make a decision about it. In other words, a trial jury must be selected for a specific case to hear just that case. They will sit in the courtroom during an entire trial and will hear the testimony from witnesses, and they will hear the lawyers telling their sides.
After all the evidence is presented, the jurors then must make a decision on how to rule, and this means they must vote guilty or not guilty. In order for a verdict to stick, their votes must be unanimous. If they cannot reach a unanimous vote, then the trial ends in a hung jury, and the court must decide whether to drop the charges or provide a second trial for the case.
If you have any questions about criminal charges you are facing or potentially facing, you should talk to a criminal defense attorney today.
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23 September 2019
When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.