• Jay P. Mykytiuk
    Jay P. Mykytiuk Criminal Defense Attorney
    Washington, DC & Northern VA
    Call Today (202) 630-1522

When a Tie is Really a Win: Hung juries and Mistrials

The saying goes that when a game ends in a tie it’s like kissing your sister—not very appetizing for most of us without incestuous impulses. But when you’re talking about a jury trial, a “tie” is usually a win for the defendant, and a loss for the government. But let’s back up. All persons charged with a felony or one of a few specific misdemeanors (including DUI Second offense and Assault on a police officer) in Washington, D.C. are entitled to a trial by jury—a trial before 12 members of the community. In a jury trial, the government must convince these 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed the crime or crimes he is charged with.

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It's Alive, Alive: D.C. Superior Court Judge Shows that 4th Amendment Still has Teeth

It’s no secret that if you get pulled over by the police in Washington, D.C., the officer likely has more on his mind than a broken taillight or an illegal turn on red. If police officers observe any traffic infraction, no matter how small, they have the right to pull you over and write you a ticket. And once they have you lawfully pulled over, the police are almost always looking to turn a traffic stop into a full-blown arrest. But despite what many officers might think, making a lawful traffic stop does not give them carte-blanche to investigate matters unrelated to the original purpose of the stop. 

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