A mistrial is the termination and void declaration of a case’s trial by a judge. In order for a judge to call a mistrial there must have been an event or circumstance that has created grounds for a mistrial before the jury or judge has decided on a verdict. A mistrial doesn’t mean that the case will not eventually have an outcome, but it does mean that any time spent in court discussing the matters of the case will now be voided and a new jury will need to be selected.
Either side of the case can make a motion for a mistrial, and there are several reasons why a mistrial may be called by the judge.
Reasons a mistrial might be called include:
- There is a fundamental error that is deemed unfair to the defendant that cannot be reversed by instructions to the jury.
- There is a death of a juror or attorney.
- Juror misconduct. This can include the jurors having inappropriate contact with either side, conducting personal investigations, or using evidence that was not presented during the trial.
- An impropriety in the drawing of the jury that is discovered during the trial.
If you are charged with a crime and must go to trial, it’s extremely important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands and knows how to best present your case. Your defense attorney can help you best navigate the charges against you, and may be able to assist you with reducing charges in your case. Russell Spatz has over four decades of experience in the criminal defense field and is ready to hear your case today. Give him a call at (305) 442-0200.