What Does Bring to Trial Mean?

Bring to Trial Meaning

Definition: To bring something into court to be formally examined by a judge.

When you bring something to trial, you bring a criminal case, with all its evidence, to the court. Both sides argue their points, and a judge determines who is legally responsible and what the next steps are. This is a public affair, unless, for example, a juvenile is involved or other rare circumstances.

A trial is the highest-profile stage of a legal process, and not all cases necessitate such proceedings. Cases are often settled through arbitration, mediation, or even dismissal before being brought to trial.

Origin of Bring Something to Trial

Trial is a mid-15th-century Anglo-French word that means the act or process of testing, a putting to proof by examination or experiment. In the 1570s, it was used for the first time to refer to an examination in a court of law, though the act of trial by jury had been going on since before the year 1000 (previously called inquests).

brought to trial meaningIn a September 1791 edition of the Gazette of the United-States, we can see the phrase in its entirety,

  • The Queen is to be brought to trial for high treason, and all the world trembles for her destiny, which appears inevitable.

Examples of Bring Something to Trial

In the modern day, this expression is used in both British and American English to talk about bringing a case to court to be publicly examined.

bringing someone to trial definitionFor example,

  • After two months, they finally brought the case to trial, and Jones was convicted.
  • They had to choose the jury before bringing the case to trial, and they only began once everyone had been selected.

More Examples

  • Stom Thurmand, who was then then governor, pushed for those responsible to be brought to trial. –The New Yorker
  • I do understand why I was brought to trial. Given the statements from certain family members, and the lack of information from others, it left a lot of room for inference in relation to my character. –Irish Times

Summary

To bring something to trial is to put evidence before a judge in a court of law. It is the last stage in a lengthy list of proceedings that often include pretrial.