How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask N Cal Attorney Your Own Question
N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9078
Experience:  Since 1983
9653905
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
N Cal Attorney is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

what considerations might legitimately factor into a decision

Customer Question

what considerations might legitimately factor into a decision to charge an indivual with a crime? What considerations should be excluded from this exercise of discretion?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 6 years ago.
The DA is supposed to charge only those crimes he honestly believe he can convict a person of, beyond a reasonable doubt, based on evidence in his possession at the time the charge is filed.

The seriousness of the crimes and the age of the defendant may be relevant to some extent. Assuming the DA has limited resources and cannot prosecute every single case that he could charge, you would expect him to charge the more serious cases and maybe let petty misdemeanors fall by the wayside.

The DA should not consider who the defendant is or knows socially and the charging decisions should not be based on politics, just on evidence.

The ABA Model Code, at
http://www.abanet.org/cpr/mrpc/mcpr.pdf states:
DR 7-103 -Performing the Duty of Public Prosecutor or Other Government Lawyer.
(A) -A public prosecutor or other government lawyer shall not institute or cause to be instituted
criminal charges when he knows or it is obvious that the charges are not supported by probable cause.
///

I hope this information is helpful.

Edited by N Cal Attorney on 7/1/2010 at 9:15 AM EST

Related Criminal Law Questions