If you are currently facing criminal charges in Tennessee, one of the most important decisions you will need to make throughout the course of your case is how to resolve your case. Unless the prosecutor decides to dismiss all charges against you, your options will be to accept a guilty plea agreement negotiated on your behalf by your defense attorney, have a judge decide your fate at a bench trial (also referred to as a “trial by judge”), or exercise your right to a trial by jury. If you have never been the defendant in a criminal trial before, your understanding of a trial is likely based on what you have seen on television. Unfortunately, the way in which criminal trials are portrayed by Hollywood is not always accurate. Of course, you should consult at length with your criminal defense attorney before deciding how to proceed in your case; however, it may help you feel more informed and in control of your own future to learn what really happens at a criminal trial.