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Prosecutorial discretion can impact your criminal case

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Many factors go into how a criminal case moves through the criminal justice system. One of these is prosecutorial discretion. The prosecutor has a variety of options they can choose from when they’re working on a case. 

Some of the bigger choices prosecutors have to make include whether to proceed with charges against a person or not. They also have to determine if they’re going to offer or accept a plea deal in a case. The severity of the case, as well as other factors like the probability of successfully obtaining a conviction, come into the picture. 

Prosecutorial discretion can help the court docket from becoming too cluttered. If prosecutors use their discretion in an appropriate manner, they can resolve some cases before they make it to trial. In some cases, prosecutorial discretion can also be used to help strengthen a serious case by providing them with the ability to work out deals with witnesses in exchange for testifying. 

Limitations of prosecutorial discretion

One primary concern about prosecutorial discretion is the possibility of misuse of those powers. This can happen blatantly, but it’s also possible that certain unconscious biases may creep up to become a problem. Prosecutors shouldn’t use preconceived notions about things like a person’s race or economic status when they’re trying to decide what to do about a criminal matter. 

You should ensure you understand what might happen with your criminal case. Working with someone who’s familiar with these matters is beneficial since they can help you navigate your options. Be sure you think about your defense strategy early in the case since some options might be time sensitive.