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Grand juries and trial juries are both important

The criminal justice system is full of concepts that you should know if you are facing criminal charges. One of these is the jury. There are two types of juries that are involved in the criminal justice system -- trial juries and grand juries. Each of these has a very different purpose.

The grand jury is a jury that hears a case before the defendant is actually even a defendant. The grand jury listens to the evidence in a case and determines if there should be charges levied against the person. This is a large jury that has 23 people sitting on it. These individuals hear all of the cases that occur within the months that they are serving. The grand jury doesn't convene on a daily basis, so having a case go before it might take a little time. Interestingly, the prosecutor doesn't have to follow the grand jury's recommendation about a case.

A trial jury is the jury that decides if a defendant is guilty or not guilty. This jury usually consists of six to 12 members who listen to the evidence and testimony of a case. They all meet up to decide the case. Once the jury's decision is read, the judge can move forward with sentencing if the jury found the person guilty. If the jury finds the person not guilty, the person is relieved of the charges and can't face them again.

While the differences between these two juries are considerable, they are both important parts of the criminal justice system. If you are going to face a trial jury, you need to work on your defense early in the process.

Source: FindLaw, "What's the Difference Between a Grand Jury and a Trial Jury?," accessed June 09, 2017

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