In this section, our attorneys explain Nevada’s criminal laws and legal concepts, A to Z
Criminal Defense » What Can Cause a Mistrial in My Reno, Nevada Criminal Case?
When events happen during the course of a Reno, Nevada criminal trial which put that right at risk, or if a jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the judge may declare a mistrial.
What is a “Mistrial”
Just like a “misfire” of a gun is a shot that either didn’t go off as planned or didn’t go off at all, a mistrial is a trial that either went so far off course as to require a new trial or didn’t conclude as it was supposed to – with a verdict.
Either the defense or the prosecution can ask that a judge declare a mistrial at any time between the time the jury is sworn in and the time a verdict is rendered. Sometimes, a judge may declare a mistrial on their own.
If the prosecution requests a mistrial and/or a judge declares a mistrial over the defendant’s objections, then the concept of “double jeopardy” will apply and an accused can raise it as a defense if the state decides it wants to try again to seek a conviction.
However, if there is some “legal necessity” that required the jury to be discharged, the double jeopardy defense is not available and the accused faces the possibility of going through another trial.
Causes of a Mistrial
There are a number of reasons that a mistrial may be declared in a Reno criminal case. Five of the most common are:
The experienced Reno criminal defense attorneys of the Shouse Law Group represent individuals throughout Washoe County who have been charged with criminal offenses. If you have been arrested and are facing Reno criminal charges, please give us a call today.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
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