Once the judge has given the jury its final instructions in a Pennsylvania DUI case, the jurors will be sent from the courtroom to deliberate. If all 12 of the jurors in your Pennsylvania DUI trial unanimously agree on the outcome of your case, a verdict has been reached.
The district attorney has the burden of proving your guilt in every element of your Pennsylvania DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt, so if even one juror has doubts about your guilt, you can win your case. Having an experienced Pennsylvania DUI lawyer from Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. on your side in your driving under the influence case may greatly improve your chances of beating the charges.
If all of the 12 members of the jury in your Pennsylvania DUI case agree on your innocence, you'll receive a not guilty verdict, which is also known as an acquittal. If all of the jurors agree that you're guilty, you'll be convicted. If they can't agree on a unanimous verdict after protracted deliberations, the judge will declare a hung jury.
Although a hung jury may not appear to be a favorable outcome in your Pennsylvania DUI case, it may be considered a victory. Based on the evidence that came out in the trial, the district attorney may opt to not refile the charges, or may offer you a plea bargain that involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge and/or reduced penalties.
The district attorney can retry your Pennsylvania DUI case after a hung jury, but may not opt to do so. Imagine - if the district attorney had a difficult time convincing 12 jurors of your guilt during your first trial, the same hurdles may be present in a retrial.
If jurors reach a unanimous decision during deliberations, the foreperson will record the outcome on a verdict form and tell the bailiff that the panel has finished deliberating. The judge, the district attorney, and you and your Pennsylvania DUI lawyer will return to the courtroom.
After asking the foreperson if the jury has reached a verdict, the judge will request that the verdict form be handed to the clerk. The clerk will read the verdict aloud. The judge will thank the jurors for their service and dismiss them. If you are found not guilty, you r case will be over and you will be free to leave. If a guilty verdict is returned, the attorneys and the judge will then discuss any further procedural matters necessary, such as setting a time for your sentencing to occur.