When your criminal defense case has gone to court, you may encounter a mistrial -- this is when the trial fails to be brought to completion. In this case, your trial is considered void and it will not have any bearing on your case in the present, past, or future. The number of mistrials might be increasing as jurors rely on mobile devices to perform research on the facts of the case, leading to a tainted jury.
What Causes a Mistrial?
For your trial to be considered a mistrial, the mistrial must be declared before the jury has rendered its verdict. Once a verdict has been reached, your trial cannot be ruled a mistrial. A mistrial might be beneficial to you, in some cases, if the trial is not going your way; your attorney can file a motion with the court requesting it.
Issues with the Jury
The mistrial might result from a hung jury, which is when the jury is not able to reach a verdict. The mistrial might also be a result of the composition of the jury; for example, one of the jurors might be found to have a conflict of interest. One of the jurors might have a conversation with a member of the press, which could lead to the jury being considered tainted.
Issues with an Attorney
In some cases, an issue with an attorney may lead to a mistrial. For instance, evidence might be introduced in a manner that is considered improper, or one of the attorneys might engage in misconduct. Additionally, if one of the attorneys or a member of the jury dies, this can lead to a mistrial.
Benefits of a Mistrial
One of the advantages of a mistrial is that the prosecutor might choose to drop all charges. Even if the charges aren't dropped, you will be more aware of the evidence that the attorney may bring against you, and you and your attorney can better prepare for it. However, additional evidence might come to light that the prosecutor can use against you.
Reaching a Plea Deal
In other cases, your best option is to pursue a plea bargain after a mistrial. These agreements are usually reached before the trial is held, so if there was a mistrial, you might have a second opportunity to reach a plea deal. You will agree to plea to lesser charges in exchange for agreeing to guilty plea.Share
13 November 2018
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