How Much Influence Does a Prosecutor Have on a Criminal Case?
When it comes to criminal defense, there are a number of factors that can have a major influence on the outcome of a person’s case. People often think the judge has the most power, and while the judge does have a significant role in a criminal defense case, most people overlook the influence of the prosecutor. In this blog, we explain how much influence prosecutors have on criminal cases.
What Does a Prosecutor Do?
Prosecutors are lawyers who are employed by federal, state, and local governments. Their job is to take criminal cases to trial. There are about 2,500 D.A. offices spread across the United States. The lawyers working in these offices are a crucial part of the criminal justice system and have a substantial influence on the charges that a person will face after they have been accused of a crime. In fact, the next time you watch the news, pay attention to how often reporters say the phrase, “Prosecutors will decide,” when speaking about the potential consequences of a crime.
Did you know that nearly 95% of the cases brought forward by prosecutors end with the defendant pleading guilty? This means that a significant number of people accused of crimes do not have their fate determined by a judge or jury. When a person accepts a plea deal, the prosecutor makes a deal with them behind closed doors. Unfortunately, these people never get the opportunity to explain their side of the story and prove their innocence.
Why Do Innocent People Plead Guilty?
A major reason that people will choose to plead guilty instead of taking their case to trial is because prosecutors usually threaten to include additional charges if the case goes to trial. This known as a “trial penalty.” Furthermore, the 5% who decide to go to trial do not have the same playing field as prosecutors. This is because prosecutors have power over the defendant’s case files, which contains crucial evidence like witness information, police reports, and physical evidence.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Augustine
Because a prosecutors can heavily influence the outcome of your case, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer who knows how to defend your rights. At Albaugh Law Firm, our team of lawyers are committed to helping clients overcome their criminal charges. We have more than half a century of collective experience behind us, and we are prepared to fight for you.
Contact our criminal defense lawyers to request a free consultation.