Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top Three Things That Anger Florida Prosecutors

Top Three Things That Anger Prosecutors
Top Three Things That Anger Prosecutors

Prosecutors have great discretion when it comes to filing, adding, reducing, or even dismissing criminal charges. This prosecutorial discretion gives prosecutors the ability to negotiate with a vast amount of tools.  The negotiated plea offer therefore is one of the most prevalent and important tools to the State. We know that a defendant never wants a prosecutor to begin negotiations with “We want the maximum sentence!” So here is a list of the top three things that anger prosecutors and what we can do to help:

  1. Serious Charge

The defendant who is charged with a “serious” offense starts off on the wrong side of the prosecutor.  Most notably, cases that involve minors as victims, death or serious bodily injury to others, and high levels of fraud or theft have prosecutors seeing red! Because of the serious nature of these charges prosecutors will often typecast a defendant and ignore anything remotely positive or good about them.  

What we can do

Our firm always approaches each case with great attention to detail. We will always look for ways to dismiss the charges. Grounds for dismissal can include: the statute of limitations, immunity, double jeopardy, and the State cannot prove the elements necessary to sustain a charge.

If the charges cannot be dismissed our firm will look for ways the charge can be reduced to a lesser included offense through negotiations. If negotiations fail our firm will be ready to fight for you at trial with various trial defenses and strategies.

  1. New Charges while a case is pending

No matter the severity of a crime, prosecutors get downright Hulk like if a defendant is charged with a new crime when they are currently on pre-trial release awaiting the resolution of a pending case. Prosecutors have the ability to file a motion to revoke bond and will usually increase any previous offer because of the new charges.

What we can do

It is possible to do a motion to set bond and argue that the new arrest was improper. Even if bond is denied our firm will evaluate all potential defenses to see if the new case can be dismissed. We may also negotiate a wrap offer with the State that may take into account all the charges so that the defendant does not get hit with multiple sentences.

  1. Failures to Appear

There have been times when I have shown up to court but my client did not. This relatively minor act makes prosecutors blood boil. Prosecutors can charge the defendant with a separate crime of “Failure to Appear” and will undoubtedly use the threat of filing additional charges as a way to harden any current offer. So an initial offer of 12 months probation could turn into 20 days in county jail followed by 12 months probation. If you have multiple failures to appear you can be sure the prosecutor will enter into a mad frenzy. (Prosecutor Smash!)

What we can do

Failures to appear can often be the result of bad luck, such as a car breaking down on the way to court. Our firm can stand up for you in court and explain how your absence was not intentional or willful.  If the judge issues a warrant for your arrest, a capias, we can file a motion to withdraw the warrant in order for you to avoid a subsequent arrest.

Call us so we can begin helping you today.

Authored by: Robson Powers, Esquire