Question: Can You Explain a Bench Trial Versus a Jury Trial in Wisconsin?
Answer: A bench trial is a trial to a judge, and for municipal court cases those you don't get a jury. Now, a court trial is also known by the same name as a bench trial. A bench and court trial are synonymous with each other. On a first offense you can get a jury trial if you file a jury demand within ten days of the initial appearance, but that is only in circuit court cases. And you automatically get a jury on second and higher cases, as those are criminal. In Wisconsin, for first offenses, if you're charged in municipal court, once municipal court is done either party has an option of appealing to regular court where there can be a jury trial.