What is a bench trial?
A bench trial is a trial where the judge decides the person’s guilt or innocence. Where a person is entitled to a jury trial, they may wish to waive their right to a jury trial and ask the judge to be the person to decide their guilt or innocence. It’s fairly unusual that a person would waive their right to a jury trial, but it is appropriate in some cases. The state attorney’s office must agree to a bench trial because either party has a right to a jury trial.