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Judge Declares Mistrial After Juror Researches Case Online

Jurors must abide by very strict rules while hearing evidence and conducting deliberations in a criminal case. The judge gives clear and concise instructions to the jurors to enable them to decide upon a verdict based solely on the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense in the courtroom.


Attempting to gather additional evidence or access information about the case through newspapers, television or the internet is strictly forbidden, and jurors are also prohibited from speaking to anyone about the case, except in the deliberation room. These actions could easily taint a jury and sway their final decision as to the guilt or innocence of the individual on trial.

During a recent trial in Brazoria County, a juror's violation of the rules affected the entire proceeding. The trial involved a woman who was accused of shooting her boyfriend's father and assisting her boyfriend with the destruction of the man's body. One of the jurors performed an internet search in an attempt to find more information about the case, violating the rules and regulations for the jury. The judge and the attorney representing the defendant agreed that there was no other option than to declare a mistrial, because the defendant's right to a fair trial had been compromised.

Guerra & Farah, PLLC represent clients who are facing charges at both the state and federal level, and we stand ready to provide you with the defense strategy you need. We are dedicated to protecting our clients' rights and seeking the best possible outcomes to their cases. To find out how we can help you with a legal matter in El Paso, Houston, or McAllen, contact our firm today.