Does Juror Misconduct Mean You Will Win an Appeal? Not Always
Jurors have specific rules they must follow while they are on a case. If they do not, then the case results may not be valid – but only in certain situations. Keep reading to learn what those situations are and then contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 to request a free legal consultation from an attorney.
Examples of Juror Misconduct in California
The term juror misconduct covers many different acts a juror may take that are not allowed under the jury rules. The misconduct they take may affect the outcome of the case but it does not always. Examples of juror misconduct include doing their own investigation with evidence that was not introduced in court, talking to people (other than the jury) about the case, talking to other jury members about the case when the full jury is not present.
If a juror refuses to deliberate or conceals provable biases during jury selection, then they have committed jury misconduct. If a criminal defense attorney or prosecutor becomes aware of said misconduct, they can bring it to the attention of the judge and the offending juror may be dismissed or a mistrial may be declared. If the case is over, then a new trial may be granted.
Juror Misconduct is Not a Guarantee of a New Trial
Even if you are able to prove that there was juror misconduct in a trial that resulted in a conviction, it is not a given that the judge will order a new trial. The court will actually look not just at whether or not the misconduct happened, but whether it likely impacted the outcome of the case.
For example, if tow jurors got together and discussed the case outside of deliberation, but it is determined that their conversation was not one that would likely have impacted their vote on the case, then the judge may not order a mistrial or a new trial.
On the other hand, if the court finds that it is likely that one or more juror was influenced by this misconduct, then a new trial may be issued. For example, if one juror read a news article that included additional evidence that was not included at trial, and then shared that information with the jurors, this can likely have affected their vote.
Do You Believe You Have Grounds for a New Trial? Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in which a juror or several jurors did not follow the rules, then you may have grounds for a new trial. The best way to get the answers you need is to contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for a free initial consultation.