How Does a Prosecutor Decide to File Charges Matthew Konecky Criminal Defense Palm Beach County Florida

When a prosecutor decides what charges to file, they do so based on the information provided in the police report and filing package. Just because you may be arrested for a crime, does not mean that the crime you were arrested for is going to be the final charge(s) that you receive.

If you've been arrested for a DUI, aggravated battery, or possession, the facts the police report must fit the category of the crime. It is the prosecutor's job to read what is provided in the probable cause affidavit and make a filing decision based upon the evidence provided before them. In many cases, police officers are overzealous where they may report information that only moderately fits the description of a serious crime. The prosecutor may immediately see that they could never prove what the officer reported in the court of law so the charge(s) could be reduced, or even dropped. 

A filing prosecutor will typically:

  • Determine that the case should be charged and file a “complaint” (the charging document may go by a different name)
  • Decide that the case should go to a grand jury, that will decide what charges, if any, to file, or
  • Decide not to pursue the case, drop/lesson the charges, or increase the charges

Who can provide information to the prosecutor in my favor? 

Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide additional information to the prosecutor that may help sway their decision. At the Law Offices of Matthew Konecky, P.A., we've provided key information to prosecutors hundreds if not thousands of times. A criminal defense attorney should immediately look to see if there is any information they can provide the state with so they can make the right filing decision regarding your case. For example, in DUI cases there are often times facts that are not known to the arresting officer such as a medical condition that could have related to the individual's performance during the field sobriety exercises. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide this information to the prosecutor objectively as opposed to one-sided. Just because you're arrested for one crime, does not mean that is what you are going to be charged with. Keep in mind while charges can be reduced or dropped, they can also be increased. 

If you've been arrested, the best thing to do is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away so any key information that may affect the outcome of your case can be given to a filing prosecutor. If you have any questions regarding your case or a potential case, call us at (561) 671-5995 today or download my free book 'My Loved Ones Been Arrested: What's Next?' by clicking here.

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