Peremptory Challenges in New York Criminal Trials
In New York Criminal Trials, both the prosecution (the ADA or Assistant District Attorney) and the defense have a set amount of peremptory challenges to the prospective jurors. This means that both sides can reject a set statutory number of potential jurors without having to give the court any reason. This is in contrast to challenging a juror for cause – in which a reason must be provided to the court for why the juror might be unable to reach a fair verdict.
The New York Criminal Procedure Law 270.25 governs peremptory challenges in jury trials in New York. Once a peremptory challenges is made, the court has no option but to excuse the juror. Each party is allowed the following number of peremptory challenges based on the top count of the indictment.
If you are charged with a class A felony, then the law permits you 20 with 2 for each alternate juror to be selected
If you are charged with a class B or class C felony, then the law permits you 15 with 2 for each alternate jurors to be selected
If you are charged with a class D felony or E felony, then the law permits you 10 with 2 for each alternate jurors to be selected
What happens if it is a co-defendant trial with two or more co-defendants?
The defendants are treated as one party and are given one set amount of peremptory challenges. If the majority of the defendants join in on the challenge then it will be allowed. If a majority does not join in, then the juror will stay.
What about in Misdemeanor trials?
Under Article 360, specifically CPL 360.30 each party is provided three peremptory challenges. Under CPL 360.35(1) one peremptory challenge is permitted in the selection of an alternate juror.