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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.

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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Going To Trial? Here's What You Need To Know

by Gina Hill

Criminal cases often go to trial, so you'll need to have an attorney to represent you in court. A trial may be heard by a judge, which is known as a bench trial, or by a jury of your peers. If you've been charged with committing a felony, you and your trial attorney can discuss which type of trial is best, depending on the circumstances of your case. If you've been accused of a misdemeanor, your only choice is a bench trial. There are other things you should know about the process before going to trial. 

Bench Vs. Jury: Which Is Better?

To make your decision about the type of trial you think is best, you need to know some pros and cons of each one. If your case is heard by a judge, he or she hears all the evidence and then decides your innocence or guilt. A bench trial is almost always less expensive than a jury trial. It is also a good option if your case has received a lot of negative publicity. 

During a jury trial, jurors hear all the evidence and decide your fate. Negative publicity can sway them to a guilty verdict in some cases. However, keep in mind that potential jurors are screened, and either your attorney or the prosecuting attorney has the right to reject a juror he or she believes is not right for the case. This includes jurors who may have some sort of prejudice against you before the trial begins. Alternate jurors are also chosen in case something does go wrong and a juror must be replaced. 

Even though bench trials have their advantages, history has shown that jurors are empathetic and more likely to find you not guilty than a judge. 

What Is A Speedy Trial?

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution entitles you to a speedy trial. But, what exactly does "speedy" mean? A speedy trial is one that does not involve any unreasonable delays, so you do not spend a long time in jail awaiting a trial. However, the reality is that many courts' schedules are jammed, so your speedy trial can mean spending years in jail awaiting trial for a serious offense. There is also bail, which you and your attorney can discuss. The judge will determine if you are eligible for bail and the amount. 

A good trial attorney like Irene M Rodriguez PA knows the ins and outs of the courtroom process and can help you make important decisions. Along with choosing a trial type, he or she can also help prepare witnesses and help you decide if you should testify on your behalf. Your acquittal, or at least a lesser charge, is the ultimate goal of your lawyer. 

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