If you are being charged with a crime, the prosecutor plays an important role in the proceedings. Obviously, they want to find you guilty. They have built a case trying to show that. You may be wondering what else they can do though, and how their actions could affect your case and potential punishment. A Mercer County criminal defense lawyer can tell you more about what the prosecutor could be up to and how you can defend yourself from them.
What Can a Prosecutor Do?
A prosecutor can do plenty of things to build a case against defendants like you. In the course of one case they could:
- Follow up on investigations into crimes
- Launch their own operations, like “sting” operations meant to catch people as they commit a crime
- Have suspects surveilled
- Interview suspects, witnesses, or anyone else connected to a case
- Ask for search warrants that can be used to obtain more evidence
- Make plea deals
- Try cases in open court
- Recommend sentences for convicted defendants to the judge
So a prosecutor has a lot of leeway to build on a case that the cops have already investigated. At the same time, they also have ethical constraints. They are not trying to rack up wins. They should only prosecute cases where there was a violation of the law, and there is no good reason to ever file charges frivolously or vindictively. They should also aim to improve this system they work in, hoping to develop a system of justice that is more fair to everyone.
What is a Prosecutor’s Goal?
When your prosecutor charges you with a crime, they have one goal above all else. They are there to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They build a case and present the evidence to the jury. If the jury believes that the only reasonable explanation here is that you have committed the crime, then the prosecutor has done their job.
They can also offer defendants a plea deal. This allows a defendant to accept punishment by admitting guilt to lesser crimes that carry less severe penalties. A good example of this is DUI case where the defendant pleads guilty to reckless driving instead.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help Me Against a Prosecutor?
Your defense attorney is there to protect your rights and ensure that the prosecutor does not overstep. If your rights were violated when evidence was gathered, your lawyer can argue to have it thrown out. If there is another suspect, your lawyer can bring that up. Essentially, your attorney is there to contest parts of the prosecution’s case against you and create reasonable doubt that would force jurors to find you not guilty.
Talk to Our Attorneys
Defending yourself from the accusations of an experienced prosecutor can be quite difficult, so seriously think about contacting the Law Office of Douglas Herring. We can tell you more about our experience and what our attorneys can do to assist you in this stressful time.