Choosing a Jury For a Criminal Trial

san jose defense attorney discusses jury selection

A criminal charge is a complex process that is an absolutely daunting formal accusation to face. If you have been accused of committing a crime in San Jose, it’s best to work with an experienced criminal law attorney to support you with the best defense.

In the event that your case goes to trial, undergoing a fair trial is fundamental to the fairness of the prosecution. The process of choosing a jury is a very important first step. For the defendant, this is a crucial phase that could be the thin line between conviction and freedom.

Jury Selection Process

Selecting a Trial Jury

A reputable San Jose criminal lawyer proceeds through certain steps to ensure that the responsibility falls into the hands of a legitimate and fair jury.

Screening From The Trial Jury Pool

When choosing a jury for a criminal trial, the judge, the prosecutor who represents the government, and the defendant’s attorney will take the responsibility of screening potential jurors. They do so from a pool representative of the community called the venire. The collection is comprised of people regardless of race, gender, or religion, and who’ve registered into a voter’s list which gives them the opportunity to be summoned for jury duty.

Voir Dire To Determine Any Biases

Upon forming the jury pool, the potential jurors are called into the courtroom for questioning. Each person will typically be asked about any ideological predisposition or life experience that can possibly interfere with his or her ability to remain unbiased in a decision. Fair jurors should only take into account the evidence presented, deliberate amongst each other, and ultimately decide if the defendant is guilty or not.

Challenging a Juror

If the prosecution or defense attorney chooses to excuse a potential juror, a “challenge” or request to disqualify an individual is presented. Some reasons to challenge include a potential juror’s connection to law officers or the defendant, exposure to negative publicity before the trial, or being a victim in a comparable case.

Selecting Alternate Jurors

Once the trial jury has been assembled, the selection of alternate jurors comes next using the same procedure. Potential alternate jurors are questioned and chosen such that they can replace a regular juror when they are unable to perform his or her duty.

Why The Defense Attorney You Choose Makes a Difference

A San Jose criminal attorney makes the final decision for the defense team regarding juror selection, but not without the input of the defendant. That’s why it’s in your best interest to work with a reputable law firm who will listen and inform you of the conviction risks, and get penalties reduced or even dismissed. Browse our website at to learn more about the Law Office of Farling, Hecht & Davis, LLP and contact us online today for a free consultation or call (408) 295-6100.