Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mistrial?

A mistrial is a trial that is not completed. Instead, it is halted and declared invalid, usually before a verdict is delivered.

Mistrials may occur for a variety of reasons. For example, the judge may determine that a hung jury will not be able to resolve its differences through further deliberation and declare a mistrial.

Hung juries, however, are only one possible reason for a mistrial. Mistrials may also be declared due to misconduct on the part of an attorney or juror; comments made in front of the jury that would make it unfair to continue the trial with the same jury; unavailability of a key participant in the trial due to illness, injury, or death; or other reasons.

In other words, when a trial is halted due to a hung jury, that is a mistrial. However, not all mistrials result from a hung jury.

<  Previous Question                    Next Question  >

Return to FAQ