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Joseph A. Lombardo

A mistrial can be an opportunity for New Jersey criminal defendants to move on with their lives. For that to happen, you must first learn about the grounds for a mistrial in New Jersey.

There are specific grounds for a mistrial in New Jersey. Generally speaking, misconduct, evidentiary issues, and a hung jury are all grounds for a mistrial. Other fundamental errors that interfere with a defendant’s ability to receive a fair trial can also result in a mistrial. If a mistrial is granted, the prosecution might choose not to retry the case. Should that happen, the charges against you may be dropped. That is why hiring an experienced attorney is important if you are facing a criminal trial in New Jersey. A skilled attorney can recognize grounds for a mistrial and file a motion, potentially getting you closer to clearing your name.

We’re here to help New Jersey residents facing criminal charges. For a free case evaluation with the New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, call today at (609) 418-4537.

What Are the Grounds for a Mistrial in New Jersey?

If a New Jersey judge declares a mistrial in your criminal trial, it might signify the end of your legal troubles. That is why having an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney is crucial. A skilled lawyer will be familiar with the grounds for a mistrial in New Jersey and be able to capitalize on that opportunity. Generally, misconduct on behalf of the prosecution, issues with introduced evidence, and certain juror problems are also considered grounds for a mistrial in New Jersey.

Misconduct

Throughout a criminal trial, the prosecution and defense are expected to act with a certain decorum. In addition to respecting the court and other attorneys, lawyers must be honest and transparent. If the prosecution demonstrates misconduct or fails to inform the court of certain mistakes at any time, there may be grounds for a mistrial. Failing to turn over exculpatory evidence, which is any discovered evidence that cuts against guilt, and knowingly presenting false testimony are some examples of misconduct that can lead to a mistrial. Any action by the prosecution that undermines a trial may be grounds for your Atlantic City criminal defense attorney to file a motion for a mistrial. Any misconduct on behalf of a jury can also be grounds for a mistrial in New Jersey.

Evidentiary Issues

For evidence to be introduced into a criminal trial and presented to a jury, it must meet very high standards. If certain evidence is correctly suppressed but is somehow seen by a jury, or if certain evidence was allowed but subsequently found out to be illegally acquired, there may be grounds for a mistrial. In order to catch evidentiary issues that can lead to a mistrial, it’s important that you have a skilled Mays Landing criminal defense attorney by your side. Lesser-experienced lawyers may not be able to identify these issues quickly. If the jury sees evidence that should be suppressed and a mistrial is not declared, it can greatly impact your New Jersey criminal trial.

Hung Jury

If jurors cannot decide on a unanimous verdict, a New Jersey judge may declare a mistrial. In New Jersey criminal trials, all jurors must agree on a verdict. Disagreement can result in a hung jury, meaning there is no resolution to your case. Generally, jurors will notify a judge of their inability to agree. Again, if all jurors are steadfast in their interpretation of the facts and cannot agree on a verdict, there may be grounds for a mistrial.

Other Reasons

Any fundamental errors throughout the trial process, regardless of who commits them, can be grounds for a mistrial in New Jersey. The death of a trial participant, whether a prosecutor, judge, or jury, can also lead to a mistrial. Essentially, anything that jeopardizes your ability to receive a fair trial can be grounds for a mistrial in New Jersey.

Does a Mistrial End Your Case or Go to Retrial in New Jersey?

If there are grounds for a mistrial in your New Jersey criminal trial, it’s important to have an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer by your side. That way, your attorney can capitalize on the opportunity before you and file a motion for a mistrial. If the motion is granted, your troubles might be over.

Once there is reason to motion for a mistrial, whether it be misconduct or juror issues, your attorney can do so. It’s important to recognize these moments as soon as when they happen. If a judge agrees that certain events have jeopardized your ability to receive a fair trial, they may grant a mistrial.

When this happens, regardless of what point it is in a trial, you are not immediately off the hook, so to speak. Being granted a mistrial does not mean the prosecution cannot refile the charges against you. Since there was no resolution to your trial, double jeopardy does not apply, and you can be retried for the same charges.

That said, there is no guarantee that the prosecution will retry the case. Generally, whether or not you receive a second trial will depend on the reason for a mistrial. If you were granted a mistrial because of misconduct or evidentiary issues, the prosecution might be unable to proceed with another trial. The prosecution might retry the case using a different angle if the mistrial was due to a hung jury or juror misconduct.

Regardless, a mistrial often benefits New Jersey criminal defendants. Either the prosecution chooses to drop the charges against you, or you are retired, giving your Linwood criminal defense attorney yet another opportunity to prove your innocence and clear your name.

Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you’re facing criminal charges in New Jersey, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Camden County criminal defense attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, call today at (609) 418-4537.

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