The Appellate Group

State v. Mendoza

State v. Mendoza, 2021 UT App 79 (Mortensen, J.)

Criminal Law; Evidence

The defendant yelled several times at police officers. The State charged the defendant with obstruction of justice, a crime that prohibits a variety of actions. At trial, the jury was not instructed that they needed to unanimously agree on which act the defendant committed that constituted obstruction of justice. The jury convicted the defendant. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed, holding:
The defendant’s trial counsel was ineffective because he did not request a jury instruction that informed the jury that it needed to unanimously agree on which statutorily prohibited act the defendant engaged in.

Read the full court opinion