Jury service is the most strictly democratic aspect of our legal system. Any US citizen who resides within a court district can be called on to serve on a jury. You don’t have to pass the bar exam, you don’t need to win a local election. By virtue of being on DMV and election rolls, you automatically qualify to receive a summons to appear in one of Orange County’s courthouses and endure hours of tedium waiting in the jury room, waiting in the hallway outside the court, waiting to be called into the jury box, and waiting for your turn to answer a series of questions posed by the judge and by the attorneys. As anyone who has ever been called in for jury duty can tell you, there is a lot of waiting involved.
Most people outside of the legal profession don’t get to see the other side of it. Jury selection (orvoir dire, to speak the truth) is a vital part of any criminal or civil trial, and actually starts the trial phase of courtroom proceedings. Up until then, all scheduled court dates are hearings which generally are meant to determine what the jury should and shouldn’t be exposed to at trial (among other issues that may or may not be relevant to the jury’s verdict). Remember, if you’re a criminal defendant, the result of your case could be dependent on your attorney’s ability to judge which set of twelve strangers will be most receptive to your arguments.
In criminal cases especially, jury selection can be a lengthy process because although nearly anyone can be called in for jury service, not everyone would be an ideal juror in every case. There are any number of issues that can lead to a juror being dismissed or temporarily excused. However, what the judge, prosecution and defense are all really looking for is a group of jurors and alternates that are able to pass judgment in an impartial manner.
That’s really what’s most important. You might think that attorneys are looking for people who might be predisposed to sympathize with their clients, but it’s really more about screening out people who won’t give the case a fair hearing or might substitute their own judgment for the law.
As a criminal defense attorney, what I’m really looking for in a juror is someone who will take the responsibility seriously, who hasn’t already made up their mind, and will pay attention, even in the parts that are, let’s be honest, kinda boring. While it might be nice to pick only sympathetic jurors, the prosecution will also be looking to eliminate jurors who are predisposed to support one side over another.
I’ve worked as a criminal defense attorney in Southern California for over 16 years. And while I might prefer that my cases be resolved before they go to trial, when a case ends up before a jury, there is no one who will fight harder for their clients.
Everyone at my practice is dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible defense against criminal charges. This commitment is one of the reasons so many of our former clients recommend us to their friend and family when they need legal help.
Once you hire me, you’ll have a tireless advocate who will stand up for your rights and look out for your interests in our justice system. Court proceedings can be time consuming and complicated, and it is extremely difficult to defend yourself. I’m proud of the work I’ve done for my clients and I look forward to helping people for years to come.
So if you’ve been charged with a crime in Orange County, give us a call at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation.