A bench trial is a type of court proceeding in which the judge acts as both the judge and jury. This means that instead of having a jury decide the outcome of the case, the judge alone makes all decisions related to guilt or innocence, as well as any sentencing. The process for a bench trial is similar to that of a jury trial, but without the presence of jurors. During a bench trial, both parties present evidence and witnesses are called upon to testify. At the end of the proceedings, the judge will make their decision based on what they heard and saw during the trial.
Bench trials are beneficial in cases where there is not much disagreement over facts or when legal issues are more important than factual disputes. They also tend to be quicker than jury trials since they involve fewer people and less deliberation time. Additionally, because judges are experienced in understanding legal matters, they may be better able to reach an informed decision than a jury would be.