Under Florida’s constitution, criminal convictions require a unanimous verdict. This means, in part, that jurors must be in complete agreement that the prosecution has established each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is ambiguity regarding the unanimity of a verdict, a defendant may be able to argue that it should be vacated. Recently, a Florida court discussed what evidence a defendant must offer to prove a verdict was not unanimous in a case in which the defendant appealed his conviction for resisting an officer. If you are charged with a crime in Tampa, it is wise to speak to a Tampa criminal defense attorney to determine your potential defenses.
Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant was involved in an altercation at a bar, after which he spoke with police officers. He was taken to a hospital; when police arrived at the hospital, they found that the defendant had absconded. An officer found him lying on the ground down the road. The defendant and officer’s accounts of what transpired vary, but the defendant was ultimately charged with two counts of resisting an officer without violence. A jury found him guilty of both charges, and he was sentenced to one year for each count. He then appealed.