How can the jury decide if the defendant is guilty or innocent with 3 out of the 4 questions were pertaining to the policeman?

Asked about 2 years ago - Largo, FL

How can a jury decide if the defendant is innocent or guilty when 3/4 of the questions they are to deliberate on are pertaining to the police officer being a police officer? If the jury is to decide if the defendant is guilty or innocent, shouldn't the questions that they are to deliberate on and make their judgement pertain to the defendant?

Additional information

the charge is a misd. resisting without violence/obstruction. in court they focused on the obstruction, but the charge focuses on the resisting arrest. i don't even understand that.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Jason Matthew Mayberry


    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your question is unclear. However, if there was an allegation where an element of the crime involves the Defendant's knowledge or lack thereof that the officer was in fact a police officer, I could see those questions possibly being posed. For example, if the charge is battery on a law enforcement officer, in order to convict the jury should make a finding that the victim was a law enforcement officer and the Defendant knew he was a law enforcement officer at the time of the crime. If a jury finds the Defendant didn't know the victim was a law enforcement officer they should acquit on the battery on a LEO charge but could still convict on the less serious charge of battery.

    Overall, I'm not sure exactly what you're asking. Hopefully my explanation helped you a bit.

  2. Joseph Robert Gosz

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Without knowing the crime(s) involved and the jury instructions given, I don't think it's possible to give an opinion on this.

  3. Robert Jason De Groot


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In order to answer this question any attorney would need to read the transcript to see if reversible error might have been committed. We do not even know what the charges were nor do we have any idea what the evidence might have been. Juries decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty, questions asked at trial get responses and those responses are the evidence.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239
  4. Joshua Stephen Alexander

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Would need more facts to give advice.

  5. Colleen M. Glenn


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I think you might be referring to the requirement that the State prove the police officer was actually acting as a police officer engaged in a lawful duty at the time the resisting or obstruction occured. When a case goes to trial the Judge instructs the jury on the elements of the offense and instructs them that they must find all of the elements have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. You would want to take a case to trial when one or more of these elements cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. There are already pre-written "jury instructions" for the offense of resisting arrest without violence/obstruction and your attorney should have gone over these with you fully before you decided to take the case to trial. Now you can appeal the jury's guilty verdict, however you should hire someone with experience and who can keep you fully informed. Good luck!

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