Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses a Recent Texas Mistrial

A Texas judge recently declared a mistrial in a misdemeanor DWI case after the prosecution showed the jury the defendant’s criminal history for a few seconds. The mistake happened when the prosecutor was switching between programs on his computer so that he could play dashboard camera video footage for the jury. The prosecutor claims that the exposure of the defendant’s criminal record was unintentional, but, nonetheless, the jury saw information that they were not supposed to see. Not only that, but the defendant’s criminal record contains a prior DWI conviction, so the potential for that information to prejudice the jury was great.

If you have been charged with a crime or If you know someone who has been charged with a crime, you are likely to want to know what a mistrial is. When a judge declares a mistrial, it simply means that the trial did not result in a decision for guilt or innocence. This can happen for a few different reasons. First, if the jury cannot reach an unanimous verdict, there is no decision about whether the defendant committed the crime for not. Because there has been no ruling of guilt or innocence, the judge can declare a mistrial. The judge can also declare a mistrial during the trial if one side violates certain rules of evidence. This is what happened in the aforementioned example. Revealing information about the defendant’s criminal record violates the rules of evidentiary procedure. There are many rules of evidentiary procedure, and a Texas DWI defense attorney can help you by ensuring that all of your evidence is presented properly at trial. One final note on mistrials is that when a trial ends in a mistrial, the state may usually try the defendant again. Retrial does not always happen though, because sometimes a mistrial shows the State that they have a weak case, and the state may choose to dismiss the charges.

In this particular misdemeanor DWI case, the jury was only supposed to issue a ruling on whether, after seeing all of the evidence, they felt that the defendant was guilty or innocent. In the event that the jury had found him guilty, a judge would have sentenced him appropriately. Interestingly enough, this was the second time that this defendant’s trial has ended in a mistrial.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit – Strong Representation When You need it most

DWI charges can have a widespread impact on your life. From your physical liberty to your driving privileges, gun rights, eligibility for public assistance, family life and more, there is so much at stake. When you have that much on the line, it is important to get help from someone who can help you to resolve your case with the fewest possible negative consequences. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has been serving clients in the Dallas area for more than thirty years, and he has a great deal of experience in handling DWI cases. Call today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.


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