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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23192
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am charged with a class c traffic offense in Circuit count

Customer Question

I am charged with a class c traffic offense in Circuit count Court in Illinos. I waived my jury right. During my second appearance which was supposed to be a bench trial ( which did not take place that day) the Judge at one point said to me that I had "already admitted to the offense." I had only admitted that to the officer when he pulled me over for something else and I knew he was going to run my plate. And told the officer that it would come back to my other vehicle that I owned.
My question is at any point BEFORE a trial takes place is the Judge allowed any evidence from the prosecution or officer witness? I think it's a blatent violation of my rights, but I am not the attorney here.
Please answer ASAP. AND I ONLY WANT AN ANSWER FROM A TRIAL ATTORNEY, and source backing your answer.
Thank you
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 months ago.


Under Rule 412 of the Illinois Rules of Criminal Procedure, the prosecution is required by law to disclose before trial any statements that a defendant has made that can be used against him. Judges are generally privy to such disclosures.

Bench trials are not like jury trials in that juries are hearing all of the evidence for the very first time, while a judge presiding over the case has heard much of the evidence and conferenced many of the issues in the case before the trial occurs. That is always a problem with bench trials.

What the judge was probably doing was to remind you that there's some potentially damaging evidence that will be coming out against you at trial. That would give you the opportunity to change your mind about trial and avail yourself of a favorable plea, which will be off of the table if you are convicted after trial. Judges are trained to be fair and impartial when they are presiding over a trial, however, and so his comment to you does not mean he won't evaluate the evidence objectively when it all comes out in detail during the trial itself.

If you feel he is incapable of being fair, you could file a motion to have the judge recuse himself. But his awareness of your statement, in and of itself, is not improper.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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