Due to the serious nature of a sexual assault case, these types of cases are typically heard in front of a Jury. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, a sexual assault case could be heard in front of six to twelve Jurors. These cases could also be tried by a Circuit Court Judge, but that is rarely the case unless there is a special exception in place. However, it is important to note that is much easier to defend a case against tried in front of a Jury as opposed to a single judge because it is much harder for the Prosecution to convince six to twelve people that the defendant committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, as opposed to ONE Judge.
For more insight regarding the Jury selection process in West Palm Beach sexual assault cases, be sure to schedule a consultation today one of our knowledgeable Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert today.
Summoning Potential Jurors in West Palm Beach
The first step in the process is to set up a Jury pool. Random registered voters and licensed drivers in the county would be summoned to the Courthouse to be included in a Jury pool of possible Jurors or participate as Jurors in criminal and civil trials if they are selected for a particular case or matter being Tried.
Once there are enough people in a Jury assembly room, the Judge for the case would order a panel of people from the Jury selection room. For a 12-person Jury, there would be more people bought up as part of that panel as opposed to a Jury selection of only six people. Typically for a panel of six Jurors, anywhere from 25 to 30 people would be needed to be on that Jury pool to be interviewed in the Courtroom by both the Judge and the Attorneys on the case.
Interviewing Jurors for a Sexual Assault Case
The attorneys from both the Prosecution and the Defense would try to determine the fairest most impartial Jurors in the room. Each side gets an opportunity to talk and interview the potential Jurors, ask general questions in relation to the law, and determine their ability to follow that law, particularly if they have any biases or prejudices that would affect their ability to be fair and impartial. The Judge would begin this interview process, followed by the Prosecution and the Defense. Once all the questions have been answered, the Lawyers would meet with the Judge to go through each juror one by one and determine whether they are accepted or stricken.
Eliminating Potential Jurors
Each side, depending upon the type of trial, has at least three challenges for peremptory reasons, meaning any reason why they do not like them. As long as it is not racially motivated, both sides could remove Jurors if they do not meet their peremptory reasons. Both sides have unlimited challenges for cause, meaning if they believe a person is patently unfair. Maybe that person is a police officer and they are not able to be a fair juror. Maybe that person that they think could be unfair or would be unfair is someone who has been to jail before, has been tried and arrested for the same charge.
For example, a person previously convicted for a similar charge could be deemed biased and unfair due to their criminal history. Other examples could include someone who has some specific knowledge in their field that could be a highly contested technical aspect in the case. This person could be removed if the Judge believes that they also could have some unfair bias towards the case.
Speak with Legal Counsel Today
When facing a sexual assault case, you should do all that you can to make sure that you avoid a conviction. A crucial element in your effort to defend yourself in front of a Jury is selecting the juror members who would ultimately decide the outcome of your case. Considering the sensitive and serious nature of this case and the Jury selection process, it would certainly be in your best interest to consult with a West Palm Beach Attorney at Leifert & Leifert experienced in all sexual assault cases. Doing so could have a significant impact on your case. Schedule a consultation to learn more.