You’re accused of a crime, and you want to know that your defense is going to be strong. It’s always in your best interest to work with a team that knows the law and how to watch out for violations of your rights. If errors take place during the trial’s proceedings, your attorney may ask the judge to declare a mistrial.
A mistrial ends a trial before it concludes with a verdict. A mistrial can happen for one of many reasons such as:
- Statements that were made by a witness that were not allowed
- Procedural errors
- Deadlock by a jury (a hung jury)
- A prejudiced jury
- Failing to complete the trial within the set time frame
Mistrials can happen for any of the above reasons as well as some that were not mentioned. Your attorney will watch the case closely to seek a mistrial if any of these things occur.
When a mistrial happens, you aren’t acquitted. You also aren’t found guilty. Instead, it just means that the case needs to be tried again from the beginning. A new jury will need to be selected, and your attorney will need to prepare to represent you a second time.
This can give you a great opportunity to prepare for a second trial. In some ways, it’s better to have a hung jury and mistrial, because they are retried with the presumption of innocence. Additionally, a mistrial gives you more insight into the prosecution’s evidence and how they’ll present their side of the case so that you and your attorney can address any factors that you were surprised by in court.