Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 5 years ago

At a pretrial, would a prosecutor add additional charges that they cant convict on to intimidate the defendant into taking a plea?

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  • Bob B
    Lv 7
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Generally not. For one thing, adding charges that they never could win might be counterproductive- for one thing, at the preliminary hearing (called the pretrial hearing, committal hearing, or whatever, depending on jurisdiction), the judge basically looks at the case brought by the prosecutor to determine how legitimate the charges appear- in the USA, the judge determines if there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the crime; in most countries the standard is similar.

    Either way, adding on unreasonable charges that there is no way they could ever win would likely result in those charges being rejected, which could hurt the prosecution's credibility. Furthermore, if the defendant has appropriate legal counsel, they would be unlikely to accept a plea deal based on this, because if the additional charges had no reasonable chance of sticking, there isn't much incentive to take a plea deal to avoid them.

    That said, prosecutors often do make plea deals in relation to different charges being brought. They may, for instance, make a deal to accept a guilty plea for manslaughter rather than go ahead with a murder charge (if the circumstances of the case made that a valid option, of course). The difference is that the higher charge usually has to be something that they have a solid chance at winning.

  • 5 years ago

    No. There is something called a "sentencing hearing" that takes place before trial. This is when the prosecutor explains to the judge the charges they will bring. Prosecutors cannot add new charges unless additional evidence comes to light, and even then they must provide adequate notice to the other party.

  • Archer
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Normally they don't charge for that which they do not have the elements of the crime for.

  • JM
    Lv 6
    5 years ago

    I doubt it because it messes with their conviction rate.

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