Do I Get to Choose the Jury in My Criminal Defense Case?


If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI in New Jersey, you may be wondering if you can choose the jury for your criminal defense case. Fortunately, the answer is yes! With the help of a New Jersey DUI Lawyer or DWI attorney, you can select the jury that will hear your case.

How the Judge Decides Who Serves on the Jury?

The judge presiding over a criminal case decides who will serve on the jury. Generally, a pool of potential jurors is selected from voter registration records, driver’s license records, and other lists. From this pool, jurors are randomly selected and summoned to appear in court. The judge then reviews the selected jurors and dismisses them if they cannot fairly weigh evidence or if they have a bias.

The Prosecution and the Defense May Eliminate Potential Jurors For Cause

Both the prosecution and the defense may eliminate potential jurors for cause. This means that both parties may excuse a prospective juror for any legal reason, such as bias, prejudice, or a conflict of interest. If a party challenges a potential juror for cause, the judge will determine whether or not the challenge is valid.


In some cases, a party may also use peremptory challenges, which are based on the party’s preference and require no legal justification. Both parties are typically allowed a certain number of peremptory challenges to eliminate prospective jurors. The goal is to create an impartial jury that will make an unbiased decision.

The Prosecution and the Defense May Also Exercise a Certain Number of Peremptory Challenges

Each side may exercise a certain number of peremptory challenges, which allow them to dismiss potential jurors without having to provide a reason. These challenges are discretionary and can help each party ensure they get a jury they think will be more sympathetic to their case.


In conclusion,  while it is possible to use peremptory challenges during a criminal defense trial, it is important to understand their limitations and potential pitfalls. Choosing your jury members wisely can be an important part of your defense strategy, so it’s important to get all the facts straight before deciding on whether or not to exercise peremptory challenges.  I hope this post has given you a better understanding of your options when it comes to jury selection. As always, if you have any questions about your case, it’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can provide you with tailored legal advice.

Carol Gilmore

Carol Gilmore