A Judge is a member of the Bar. He has gone to Law school and in the lower courts he is elected while in the higher courts he is appointed. The term “Your Honor” refers to the person that finished at the bottom of his class in Law School.
In general Judges are Judges because they can't make a living as a Lawyer.
If you use a proven defense like The Tipmra or any defense based on the law you have a good chance in front of a Judge.
Unfortunately there are Judges in this country who couldn’t care less about the law and their only concern is bringing in revenue. You can expect 20% of Judges to be prejudiced against you from the outset. These are the ones that not only finished at the bottom of their class in Law School but had their Uncle bribe someone at the school to get them a passing grade. (you can generally tell by the double chin or beady eyes on the ones that had to bribe their way through school)
Appealing a decision made by a Judge is very difficult and can be expensive. The good part is that with a good defense you stand a very good chance of winning. With a poor defense you have no chance.
If your trial was in front of someone less then a Judge you have the right to appeal for a new trial in front of a real judge. That appeal for a new trial must be granted.
The easiest way to determine if your trial is in front of a Judge is because all such trials are recorded either by a recording device or a court reporter. A record of every word spoken in the proceeding is essential for appeal. If the recording is damaged the only remedy is a new trial that must be granted. Without a record the higher courts have no means by which to judge the merits of an appeal. All appeals are made on the record.