shotgun charge

Primary tabs

A shotgun charge (also referred to as dynamite, nitroglycerin, third-degree or Allen charge) refers to jury instructions given by a court to a hung jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Since a mistrial could allow the defendant to go free, even though they might have committed a crime, judges sometimes use a “shotgun charge” to reduce the risk of a mistrial.

[Last updated in May of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]