What is Voir Dire?
Personal injury accidents in Georgia can be taken to court and tried with a jury. However, jurors are just regular folks who will bring prejudices into the deliberations, and some may not treat your case fairly.
In light of this, your attorney and the opposing counsel may question and dismiss prospective jurors. This process is called voir dire.
Voir dire is a crucial stage of a jury trial where potential jurors are questioned by both the prosecution and defense teams to determine their suitability to serve on the jury. The purpose of voir dire is to identify any potential biases or prejudices that may affect a juror’s ability to be fair and impartial during the trial. The questions asked during voir dire are designed to elicit information about the potential jurors’ backgrounds, beliefs, and opinions that may relate to the case.
Voir dire is an opportunity for both the prosecution and defense teams to exercise their right to challenge potential jurors for cause or for reasons that would make them unsuitable to serve on the jury. Attorneys may also dismiss potential jurors without cause based on their intuition or experience.
Voir dire can greatly impact the outcome of a trial, as the composition of the jury can greatly influence the verdict. An experienced attorney will understand the importance of voir dire and will use this stage to carefully select a jury that is most favorable to their client’s interests.
How Does Jury Selection Work?
Voir dire is the second stage of jury selection. A large group of people are gathered at random, significantly more than the 12 required in a courtroom.
Then, to speed things up, the judge may remove some individuals randomly. Once a jury has been selected, both sides’ attorneys can interrogate potential jurors and excuse any they deem unsuitable. The act of dismissing a juror is called striking.
Your attorney can employ two types of strikes:
- Peremptory Challenges: Your attorney may use a “peremptory challenge” to remove a potential juror from the case at any time. This is the most potent strike available, and your attorney can only employ so many in every case.
- Challenges For Cause: When presenting this challenge, your attorney must explain why you believe the juror should be removed from the panel. If the juror knows one of the victims or works for the insurance company, you would have a good reason to dismiss them due to bias. Unfortunately, the judge does not have to agree with the challenge, and the opposing attorney can present their case. It’s not uncommon for challenges to be turned down.
A well-planned voir dire process is priceless. Your attorney needs to ask questions in such a way as to elicit the jurors’ most sincere opinions without coming across as intrusive. Having a lawyer with the ability to influence the selection process can immensely help your case.
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If you have been injured in an accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!
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