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Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > Criminal > Is It Good Or Bad If Your Criminal Case Ends In A Mistrial?

Is It Good Or Bad If Your Criminal Case Ends In A Mistrial?


If you go to a sufficiently populated place in Florida, such as a beach, theme park, or shopping mall, there is a good chance that someone there has been convicted of a crime.  Maybe someone is currently on probation or will never complain about overpriced mall food court food since it is such an improvement over prison food.  It is unlikely, though, that any of them has been convicted at trial.  Most criminal cases do not go to trial.  If the case gets to the stage where the defendant enters a plea, most of them plead guilty.  Even in the case of defendants who initially plead guilty, many of them change their pleas to guilty before the trial begins, either because more incriminating evidence emerges or because the prosecution offers a plea deal that would enable the defendant to avoid a long prison sentence, and the defendant does not want to lose this opportunity.  Once the trial begins, it is not a done deal that it will end with a guilty or not guilty verdict.  Mistrials, which are where the trial ends without a verdict, are rare, but they are sometimes the most appropriate option from the perspective of justice.  To ensure that you get a fair trial with a fair outcome, contact a Tampa criminal defense lawyer.

What Can Go Wrong in a Criminal Trial?

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a fair trial and outlines some of the criteria which determine whether a trial is fair.  The lawyers involved have the right and the responsibility to keep the process on the path of fairness before and after the trial begins.  This means that, before the trial, each side must be transparent with the other about the evidence that it intends to present to the jury.  The lawyers have the right to file motions requesting that the judge exclude certain pieces of evidence on grounds of inadmissibility.  Once the trial begins, lawyers may object to individual questions that the other side asks to witnesses.

A mistrial is a trial that ends without the jury finding the defendant guilty or not guilty.  The court can declare a mistrial if one side says or does something that makes it impossible for the jury to be unbiased, such as talking about the defendant’s prior criminal convictions or showing an inadmissible piece of evidence.  Another event that leads to a mistrial is if someone essential to the case, such as the judge or an attorney or juror, dies before the trial ends.  A mistrial also results if the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict.  After a mistrial, the court may dismiss the case, or it may order a new trial.

Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

A criminal defense lawyer can help you fight your criminal charges and get a fair trial or persuade the court to dismiss the case against you.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.



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