Juries in Hampton Roads Robbery Cases

Individuals who face criminal offenses have the option of choosing bench or jury trials. The choice often depends on the circumstances of the case, and what offense the person is on trial for. Robbery cases are not frequently tried by juries because the alleged perpetrators will try to avoid facing a jury. This will happen only when absolutely necessary. Juries in Hampton Roads robbery cases are less common, which is why if an individual does select a jury trial, they should work with a seasoned robbery lawyer that has experience navigating the jury selection process.

Jury Selection Process

The judge typically does not have much impact on the selection of juries in Hampton Roads robbery cases. Usually, this is left to attorneys. However, the judges do have oversight over the process. More or less, attorneys can select a jury of their choosing. Generally, attorneys will look for jurors who do not necessarily have a lot of experience with the legal system. Those people will come in with their own beliefs and expectations about how things should be done. That makes the attorney’s job more difficult. Generally, you try to find people who are capable of being good listeners and who are attentive.

A defense attorney will want to look for people they believe will be sympathetic to the defendant. Attorneys can figure out whether a juror will be sympathetic or not by asking the potential jurors questions and by listening to their responses. Based on their responses, an attorney can get an idea of whether or not a potential juror will be sympathetic to the defendant’s situation.

The jury selection process can take a full day or just a couple of hours. Sometimes it is a very straightforward process. Sometimes there are no real major issues, while other times there can be a lot of issues with a given jury pool. Many conflicts can arise. There are a lot of people who cannot be involved in a case due to certain biases, which can add to the length of the case.

Diversity in Juries

When a person has a jury that is chosen from a jurisdiction at random, people from different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, that can impact the way that they interpret and understand certain aspects of the case. An attorney has to try to find people on the jury that they believe, based on their histories, are going to be more likely to see things the way that the defense wants them to.

The most important part of selecting juries in Hampton Roads robbery cases is to find the group of people who will give the defense attorney their best chance to obtain a not guilty verdict. That can either be done through a very diverse group of individuals, or it can be a group of people with the exact same characteristics. A person’s goal is to find the people most likely to side with them.

Impact Jury Can Have on a Case

A jury does not necessarily get involved in the trial while the case is going on. The jury does not get to ask questions of the witnesses, they are basically there to listen. The jury can have an impact on the way a lawyer is going to present their case. It is important for the lawyer to make sure that they present their arguments clearly. Because a jury is not the same thing as a judge, a lawyer cannot assume that a jury will fill in the blanks in the same way a judge will.  It is crucial that an attorney checks all the boxes when presenting their argument to the jury. Essentially, a jury impacts trials by forcing the lawyers to present their cases differently than they would if it were a judge and experienced lawyer who has tried these cases before and is familiar the law.

What Standards Are Juries Working Off Of?

Following the trial, the jury will be sent back to deliberate, and one element of their directions will always be that the charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Reasonable doubt does not mean that every possibility is included, but it means that all reasonable hypotheses of suggesting innocence are excluded. Reasonable doubt is that basically all reasonable arguments against conviction are excluded. It essentially means that the evidence suggests there is one outcome and there is nothing in the evidence suggesting otherwise.

Preponderance of the evidence is a standard that simply means they have to show a greater weight of the evidence, than the evidence that shows that the defense’s theory of the case is incorrect. This is different from reasonable doubt because they are not simply determining if one outcome is more likely than not. For reasonable doubt, a person has to be convinced based on all of the evidence that they have heard that the prosecution’s theory of the case is correct and there is no other reasonable explanation about what happened. Juries in Hampton Roads robbery cases have a major responsibility, which is why it is important for individuals charged with robbery to work with an experienced attorney that could help them select a sympathetic jury. If an individual has been charged with a robbery offense, they should contact a capable lawyer that could pursue a positive outcome for them.