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Waiver Trials

Every person who is charged with a crime has the right to a trial by jury. It may be the most important right in our system of justice. But, as important as that right is, there are times when it is in the defendant’s best interest to waive that right and have a non-jury trial, which is commonly referred to as a “waiver trial.”  All of the defendant’s other important rights remain: the accused is presumed innocent unless and until the government can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the government still has the burden to prove its case. The difference has to do with who decides the facts. In a waiver trial, the judge – not a jury – is the fact-finder.

Deciding between a jury trial and a waiver trial is one of the most important decisions one can make when charged with a crime. It can affect your chances of winning the case. And it can also affect the sentence you are likely to receive if found guilty. You should not make such an important decision without the trusted advice of an experience criminal defense attorney.

Attorney David Santee has represented hundreds of individuals in both jury trials and waiver trials over his nearly two decades of practicing law. He has taught a course in Trial Advocacy to law students at Villanova Law School for 15 years and is on the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, teaching practicing lawyers how to represent clients at trial.

About Our Firm

The Law Offices of David S. Santee represents individuals in criminal, civil, and immigration matters throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Attorney Santee brings nearly two decades of legal experience to bear for each client. He has handled thousands of cases over the course of his career and has taken several hundred cases all the way to trial. He represents clients in administrative hearings, at trial, on appeal, and in post-conviction proceedings.

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See What Our Clients Have to Say

  • “I have had the privilege of working closely with Mr. Santee for over 5 years and have relied on his superb skills and excellent judgement to assist me in completing complex cases to successful outcomes. Our organization wouldn’t be where we are today without the strong relationship we have with Mr. Santee.”

    Thomas Martin Vice President, Baker Tilly Capital
  • “Mr. Santee represented me on my appeal. He got my conspiracy charge reduced and my sentence cut in half so that I ended up with time-served. He saved me four years of parole!”

    K.T. Lawncrest
  • "I thought I was going to die in prison. However, today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the dedication and hard work of Attorney at Law David Santee. Anyone who is seeking true representation from an attorney who is not going to take your money and sell you out should consider David Santee because he will ensure your rights are protected."

    Luis Gonzalez Former Juvenile Lifer

Ready to Discuss Your Case?

Call (215) 717-8000

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Based in Philadelphia
Serving all of Pennsylvania

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