Non-Jury Trial Law and Legal Definition
A non-jury trial is a trial in which a judge decides both questions of law and fact. It is also known as bench trial. A non-jury trial is held in the absence of a jury, and decided by a judge resulting in a judgment for the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s). In a non-jury trial the fact finder is one or more professional judges. Generally, the rules of evidence and procedural methods are the same in both jury and non-jury trial. However, specific procedure for bench trial may be determined by applicable state code.
Non-jury trials are ordinarily speedier than jury trials. Such trial saves the time spent on selecting and instructing a jury. Defendants have the option to choose a non-jury trial. They can waive their right to a jury trial. On the other hand, note that both the defendant and the prosecution have the right to present their case to a jury.