January 27, 2023 By Bryan Powell
Hung Jury

What Is a Hung Jury? 

In most jurisdictions, a unanimous jury decision is required for a verdict to be given, meaning all jurors must agree on whether the defendant is guilty or not. A hung jury, also known as a deadlocked jury, is a jury whose members are unable to agree on a verdict of guilty or not guilty. 

What Happens in a Hung Jury? 

If there is a hung jury, the judge may order the jurors to deliberate further. This is known as an Allen charge and is generally only given once or twice. Often, juries will report that they are deadlocked after only deliberating for a short period of time. An Allen charge urges the jurors to further reconsider their vote, especially if they are in the minority. Sometimes, the judge may even schedule a hearing where the jurors can ask questions to the parties involved. 

If the jury still cannot reach a verdict after further deliberation, the judge can declare a mistrial due to the hung jury. A mistrial means that the defendant is neither convicted or acquitted. When this happens, the parties are returned to the positions they occupied before the trial began, so the prosecution may decide to either retry the case, enter into a plea bargain with the defendant, or dismiss the case. 

Is a Hung Jury a Good Sign? 

Sometimes, a hung jury can signal a positive outlook for the defendant. For example, if 11 jurors voted in favor of acquittal and only one juror voted to convict, the prosecution may see it as a sign not to try the case again. Thus, the case may be dismissed or the defendant may be offered a plea bargain. In any case, a hung jury is better than a conviction. Undoing a conviction is very difficult, and an appeal is not guaranteed. 

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

Do not wait for others to determine your future. The best way to avoid a conviction is to obtain a skilled defense attorney who can get your case dismissed before it reaches trial. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich is your best choice among Southern California criminal defense firms. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients dismiss their criminal charges with great success. We understand how tough these cases can be, but we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible results so that you never need to worry. 

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you. 

Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney. 

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