What is the difference between a bench trial and a jury trial?

A bench trial is a trial where the judge is the sole fact-finder; that is, the judge alone makes a decision on the merits of your case after both sides have presented evidence. A jury trial is a trial where 12 jurors (randomly selected citizens from Peoria County) listen to the evidence and make the decision on your case. Jury trials are held on specific days in Traffic Court and the oldest cases and most serious cases are heard first. On the jury trial day only one case can be heard. This means that people on the jury call often come back for several jury calls before their case works its way to the top of the docket. Bench trials are held each day of the week and all cases set on the bench trial docket may be heard the day they are set. The States Attorney Office cannot advise persons on which type of trial they should choose. Clearly, however, a bench trial can be set and heard more quickly than a jury trial.

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1. Do I need to hire an attorney to represent me on my traffic charge?
2. How can I get my bond back?
3. I cannot make my upcoming court date. Can I change it?
4. I cannot pay my fine. How can I get an extension?
5. I missed my court date. What will happen now?
6. I received an operating uninsured motor vehicle ticket and I had insurance. What should I do?
7. I received notice that I owe a fine, even though I have not been to court. What can I do?
8. I was in an accident with another vehicle which was uninsured. Will I be able to get money from Traffic Court?
9. Is there any way I can keep a traffic ticket off my record?
10. My ticket says $75 and it also says I must come to court. Is my fine $75?
11. What is the difference between a bench trial and a jury trial?
12. What is the difference between a ticket marked must appear and a ticket marked may appear?
13. What should I do If I want to contest my traffic ticket?