If you ever have to get a Miami criminal defense attorney, you definitely want to understand the basics of how the court system works. One of the things that could happen to your case is a mistrial, a rare occurrence, but still an important one to understand. A Miami criminal defense attorney can help explain a mistrial in more detail, but here are the basics.
A mistrial is any trial that has not been successfully completed. It is when a trial is terminated rather than concluded, with a verdict and sentencing. The entire trial is voided and they have to start all over again. If you have a criminal attorney in Miami representing you, they can ask for a mistrial, as can the prosecution.
However, a mistrial can only happen under certain specific circumstances. Let’s take a look at each of the ways a mistrial might occur.
- One of the members of the jury dies
- An attorney on either side dies
- Some kind of error happens during the trial that makes it an unfair trial for the defendant, and the judge cannot simply order the jury to ignore it.
- The jury has done something that they are not allowed to do like have contact with either part in the trial, read newspapers or follow media coverage, or fails to follow instructions by the judge.
- Finally, if a jury cannot produce a verdict and declare themselves deadlocked, the judge may call a mistrial.
When a mistrial happens, the trial stops immediately, and the prosecution will usually file for a new trial. This means that the defendant is not acquitted of the crime, but is not yet convicted either, and will likely return to jail (unless they have bonded out) until the new trial begins.
Mistrials do not happen very often, but they certainly do happen. Your Miami criminal defense attorney should be very careful during a court case and look for signs of jury misconduct or any of the other reasons that a mistrial happens.
Most of the time, however, attorneys are very careful as they try a court case, because the expense of having a second trial is something that every attorney wants to avoid. But an attorney must be on the lookout for these signs nonetheless, because if something happens that makes it an unfair trial, it has to be stopped, because of the constitutional right to a fair trial.
We handle a variety of criminal law cases, so call us now if you have any questions, (305) 615-1285.
View more contact information here: Miami Criminal Defense Attorney.