Unless prosecutors and the defense come to an agreement on a plea to charges, even DUI cases must have their day before a jury. In the case that a jury becomes hopelessly deadlocked and is unable to reach a verdict, a judge may declare a mistrial. In some cases after a mistrial where a jury is unable to reach a verdict, a judge may order another trial. In other cases, such as when no new evidence will be presented by either the prosecution or defense, a judge may declare that no new trial will take place. This is the case in the second trial of a Californian undocumented immigrant as NBC Los Angeles reports.
After a jury was unable to reach a verdict for the second time, a San Diego judge ruled that 39-year-old Constantino Banda will not have to face another trial. The reasoning the judge used was that neither the prosecution nor the defense would have any new evidence to present.
The trial was to decide if Banda was guilty of DUI and hit-and-run charges in the accident that seriously injured 6-year-old Lennox Lake, fracturing the young boy’s skull. Lake and his parents were on their way home from a trip to Disneyland when the accident occurred.
The prosecution alleged that Banda was behind the wheel at the time of the accident. Banda’s defense attorney alleged that it was Banda’s friend who was behind the wheel at the time of the accident.
In the first trial, the jury returned guilty verdicts on the charges of driving without a license, battery, and vandalism. However, they could not come to an agreement on the charges of DUI and hit-and-run.
According to records, Banda has been deported from the United States back to Mexico more than 15 times in the past decade. His most recent deportation was in January 2017, just months before the crash.
One of the jurors said that they simply could not convict Banda based on the evidence that was presented.