Criminal defendants in Utah have the right to a bail hearing. If a defendant can post bail, they are granted pre-trial release and can await their trial from home. Defendants who cannot post bail or are denied bail must await their trials from jail. A mistrial does not automatically get you out of jail, but it might change your circumstances.
A mistrial occurs when a verdict cannot be reached for some reason. In the event of a mistrial, the terms and conditions of your bail will continue. A mistrial does not automatically alter your bail. So, if you were in jail during your first trial, you will have to wait there until your new trial. However, you might have a new opportunity to get released.
If you are awaiting your trial from jail, our Utah criminal defense attorneys can help you. We can help you get the court to reconsider your bail and hopefully get you released. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 for a free case evaluation.
What Happens After a Mistrial in Utah?
Mistrials can be very frustrating experiences. A mistrial occurs when a verdict cannot be reached in a trial. In most cases, mistrials happen because jurors are deadlocked and cannot agree on a verdict. In some other cases, a mistrial might result from prosecutorial misconduct. A new trial in front of a new jury is scheduled in either case.
A mistrial does not immediately or automatically change anything about your bail. Bail is something decided before trial. If your case went to trial, then you probably already had a bail hearing before the trial started. Generally, if a defendant was waiting in jail for their trial, nothing will have changed in the material factors analyzed when deciding bail, and they will stay in jail.
Even so, a mistrial might present a unique opportunity to have your bail reconsidered and possibly lowered at a new bail hearing. Modifying your bail might depend on why your mistrial occurred and when a new trial can be scheduled. For example, if the judge witnessed prosecutorial misconduct that shows you might not be as dangerous as the prosecution initially claimed, bail might no longer seem necessary. Our Layton criminal defense lawyers can help you file a motion to modify bail.
While some defendants remain in jail because they cannot afford bail, others are denied bail because of the nature of their criminal charges. Some charges are denied bail categorically. Other times, defendants are denied because they are deemed too dangerous or a serious flight risk. We can help you argue for a new bail hearing after a mistrial.
Do I Have to Remain in Jail After a Mistrial in Utah?
Whether or not you remain in jail after a mistrial depends on if you were in jail before your mistrial. If you were waiting for your trial in jail because you could not get pre-trial release (i.e., bail), this would remain unchanged. You will continue to wait in jail even as your next trial is scheduled.
However, you do not necessarily have to remain in jail simply because that is where you were before the mistrial. If you were in jail before because bail was too expensive, you still have the opportunity to post bail. If your financial circumstances have changed or your family raised the funds for release, you can always post bail after your mistrial. Our Logan criminal defense attorneys can help you assess your circumstances and hopefully post bail.
If you were denied bail altogether, you are probably still going to be denied bail, and you must stay in jail. Defendants can be denied bail because the law does not provide bail for their criminal charges or because they were deemed a flight risk. If your harshest charges were dropped after a hung jury mistrial, it is possible you could be reconsidered for bail under the new slate of charges.
Getting Out of Jail on Bail After a Mistrial
If you could not afford bail or were denied bail before your mistrial, now might be a good chance to change your circumstances. According to Utah Code § 77-20-207(1), you can file a motion to modify your pre-trial status order. This order is what sets the terms and conditions of your bail, among other things.
Under the law, you can file a motion to modify your pre-trial status order at any time after the order is issued. To modify the order, you must show a material change in your circumstances. This motion may allow you to reduce your bail so you can be released while you await your new trial, and our Lehi criminal defense lawyers can help you file this motion.
Whether or not there is a material change in your circumstances will depend on several factors surrounding your case. For example, it is not too unusual for prosecutors to drop certain charges after a mistrial. This might be because the charges were too difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt or a lack of evidence, so the prosecutors decide to cut their losses and proceed on the remaining charges that might be easier to prove. This may constitute a material change in circumstances because the charges for which you are held have changed. The courts cannot hold you in jail on charges that are no longer pending against you.
We can also argue for a change in your pre-trial status order if your new trial cannot be scheduled for a long time. Courts are extremely busy, and your new trial might have to wait a few months or longer. It is one thing to hold someone for a few weeks before a new trial, but a few months or more is too much. We can argue that this is a material change in circumstances, and you should not be made to wait in jail for so long.
Call Our Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, our Provo criminal defense attorneys can help you explore your bail options. A mistrial might lead to a change in your circumstances that necessitate new bail conditions. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 for a free case review.