Under the federal constitution

Under the federal constitution everyone charged with a crime where their liberty is at stake (possibility of jail or prison) is entitled to a lawyer and a jury trial.  Class C misdemeanors (for example: speeding, public intoxication, disorderly conduct) are not included in this because the judge can only assess a fine.  In Texas, someone charged with a class C misdemeanor does not have a right to a court-appointed attorney, but Texas does allow for jury trials on class C misdemeanors.  More than half of the other states do not allow someone to request a jury trial for these minor offenses – any trial would be heard only by a judge.

The question this week:  Should Texas get rid of jury trials for class C misdemeanors?  Trials to the judge save time and money, but are citizens rights at stake?  Is it worth your time as a citizen to sit as a juror on one of these cases just in case you might want to have a jury trial on a class C misdemeanor one day?

The rules:

1. Your answer needs to be no less than 300 words and no more than 400 words.


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