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Definition of Petit Jury

A civil petit jury is a jury comprised of 6 to 12 individuals. In a personal injury case the civil jury is expected to hear all the evidence from the defendant and the plaintiff and determine based on a preponderance of evidence whether the defendant breached their duty, this breach was negligent, this negligence caused injury and the plaintiff suffered loss. If the petit jury decides in favor of the plaintiff they will allocate compensation to them which can include lost wage compensation, medical costs, and pain and suffering.

In a criminal trial the petit jury generally is comprised of 12 individuals and the jury must hear evidence from both parties to determine if the defendant committed the charges they are accused of beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a higher standard than what is required in a civil case. Sentences for criminals can also be determined by either a judge or a jury according to laws or standards outlined in state law.

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