Who decides which cases to prosecute?

Who decides which cases to prosecute?

A formal accusation is universally regarded as an indispensable prerequisite for a criminal trial. It is typically the public prosecutor who, on the basis of the results of the investigation, determines whether to file a complaint and for which offense to bring charges.

Can a prosecutor refuse a case?

In any criminal investigation, a prosecutor chooses which charge or charges to file or seek from a grand jury. A prosecutor also has the discretion to refrain from filing any charges at all. A prosecutor may choose not to pursue a criminal case for several reasons. Political pressure.

Why do prosecutors reject cases?

A prosecutor may drop a criminal charge if it is determined that the evidence against the accused isn’t strong enough. If charges get filed regardless of insufficient evidence, then our attorney can file a motion of case dismissal.

What is the role of a prosecutor in a case?

The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case in a criminal trial against an individual accused of breaking the law. Typically, the prosecutor represents the state or the government in the case brought against the accused person.

How do prosecutors make decisions?

Typically, prosecutors base their initial charging decisions on the documents sent to them by the arresting police officers (usually called police or arrest reports). The police complete an arrest report soon after they make an arrest and then quickly forward the report to a prosecutor assigned to do case intake.

How do prosecutors choose cases?

Police officers usually make arrests based only on whether they have good reason (probable cause) to believe a crime has been committed. By contrast, prosecutors can file formal charges only if they believe that they can prove a suspect guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Can a case be dismissed for lack of evidence?

A Lack of Good Evidence If an individual is arrested, it falls upon the prosecution to present evidence that the accused actually committed the crime. If there is not enough evidence to move forward with a case, criminal charges can be dismissed.

What are the powers of the prosecutor?

Prosecutors are the government officials charged with investigating and prosecuting crimes. Prosecutors have near-unlimited power to make all the most consequential decisions in a criminal case from beginning to end.

Do prosecutors investigate?

Prosecutors shall perform an active role in criminal proceedings, including institution of prosecution and, where authorized by law or consistent with local practice, in the investigation of crime, supervision over the legality of these investigations, supervision of the execution of court decisions and the exercise of …

Why is a prosecutor so powerful?

Prosecutors are the most powerful officials in the American criminal justice system. The decisions they make, particularly the charging and plea-bargaining decisions, control the operation of the system and often predetermine the outcome of criminal cases.

Can a prosecutor choose to pursue a lesser charge?

From there a prosecutor can choose to pursue the original charge, move to pursue a lesser charge or drop the case altogether.

What happens if the prosecutor decides not to pursue a case?

If the prosecutor decides not to pursue your friend’s case, there will still be a record of the arrest, but no punishment will be handed down—but for the sake of this example, let’s assume they’re moving forward with an indictment. Unlike prosecutors, defense attorneys can be either private or public.

What’s the difference between a prosecutor and a defense?

For a prosecutor, however, they must consider the burden of proof and their ability to successfully prosecute a case. Since the U.S. holds that someone is innocent until proven guilty, it is up to the prosecutor to prove guilt, not the defender to prove innocence.

When does a prosecutor use a grand jury?

In some cases, the prosecutor may use a grand jury to help determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a criminal charge, not if the defendant is actually guilty of those charges. They typically consist of 12 to 23 people who review the evidence of a prosecutor’s case and vote whether or not to indict.