If you elect to go to trial, you and your lawyer, as well as the government, will select 12 members of the community (and usually 2 or more alternates) to sit as your jurors.  The government will present the case against you.  Your lawyer will be permitted to cross examine any witnesses the government presents.  The government bears the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  You may testify but you are not required to do so.  You may present witnesses of your own and the court will issue subpoenas that require the attendance of your witnesses in court.  At the end of the evidence, the jury will discuss whether the government has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  All jurors must agree for there to be a conviction or an acquittal.  This is done is private but the jury’s decision, or verdict, is announced in open court.

There may also be circumstances where you would prefer the judge to decide whether the government has proved your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  In these circumstances, you should talk with your lawyer about the pros and cons of waiving jury and submitting your case to the judge alone.  In this case, your trial rights remain the same but the judge will decide the case instead of a jury.  If you decide you would like to waive jury and have a judge decide your case, the government must agree or you will be required to have a jury trial.