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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Defendant is facing AA Felony charges in District court and

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Defendant is facing AA Felony charges in District court and recently declined a plea offer. Prosecutor saw that the case is scheduled for trial, and is now threatening, by way of defense attorney, to go to other jurisdictions and ask them to file charges against if defendant won't accept plea bargain.

The investigating officer, who works for the state bureau of investigation, originally threatened to do the same thing, but only filed in the one jurisdiction.

Are these threats legal, or even possible?
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Criminal Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

The DA can't make up charges to be filed in other counties. BUT, if the defendant committed similar offenses in other counties, then it is possible that charges could be filed against the person. It's also possible that a deal could be worked where the defendant will not be prosecuted for the other offenses IF a plea is take to this one.

Thus, it's not illegal to inform the Defendant that the prosecution/law enforcement will not pursue other possible charges in exchange for a plea agreement to the current one.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The plea agreement makes no mention of charges in other jurisdictions.

The evidence is much weaker in the other jurisdictions which is why I assume charges were not filed there to begin with.

Ok. Thanks for the information.

The Defendant should certainly speak to his/her attorney about including a provision in the agreement that says the DA will not pursue these other charges in exchange for the plea.

If the evidence is not strong, there may not be anything to worry about anyway, BUT it's much better if there's an agreement to this as well.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, thanks. Defendant isn't interested in plea bargaining and wants a trial.

Could these threats be interpreted to mean that the prosecutor thinks he has a weak case?

While the evidence is not strong in the other jurisdictions, filing charges would still have a negative impact on the defendant, causing a lot of extra trouble and re-arrest.

Yes, I think it could be viewed like that as the possibility of several other charges, arrests, hearings, bonds, attorney's fees, etc. may be enough for someone to take a deal even if he/she is innocent because of the mountain of litigation and procedure ahead - - which could all be avoided with a simple plea deal.

If the DA thought he had a solid case, the deal may not have been as good as what has been offered.

However, I'm certainly not in a position to speak about the strength or weakness of the case since I don't know the facts/evidence. But, the Defendant and his/her attorney can make a fair assessment on the risks/benefits of going forward.

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