If you are facing a criminal charge and your case is proceeding to a jury trial, you naturally want a jury that is sympathetic to you or that is, at the least, not put off by you, and this fact makes understanding the jury selection process in Texas very important. If a criminal charge has been levied against you, it is time to consult with an experienced Coryell County criminal lawyer.
Ultimately, the jury will determine whether or not you are innocent or guilty of the criminal charge you face. In other words, the jury will play a critical role in your case, and while you cannot directly influence their decision-making process (other than by presenting your most compelling case), your attorney will have some input in the jury selection process.
How Your Jury Will Be Selected
Potential jury members are generally summoned to report to the courthouse for the jury screening process. In order to be excused from the process, the potential jury member must have a valid excuse, such as the following:
Have a serious medical procedure scheduled in the near future
Be a student who faces impending exams
Be a caretaker for someone who depends upon the ongoing care provided
All those potential jury members who remain will be questioned by the lawyers for both sides to help ensure that they have no preconceived ideas or biases that could relate to the case (to help establish that the chosen jurors are capable of rendering a fair verdict). From here, both sides can submit challenges to the court that are intended to remove any jury candidates deemed undesirable for one reason or another (such as by overexposure to case-related news). Further, anyone who has physical and/or mental limitations that would preclude him or her from shouldering the necessary responsibilities may be dismissed. Finally, attorneys are also allowed a specific number of peremptory challenges against potential jurors who qualify but who may be more inclined to favor the other side.
Your Connection with the Jury
The jury in your case is required to be impartial, but because they are very human, it is only natural for them to look for a way to either connect with or distance themselves from you and your attorney. And you do have some influence toward this end. If the jury determines that you and your attorney are credible, respectful, and fair throughout the process, it may be more inclined to find in your favor.