Ask a Buffalo Attorney: “Will the prosecutor ask the complainant what she wants to do before going to trial?

Criminal Lawyers Buffalo NY
Criminal Defense Attorney Buffalo NY

Once charges have been filed, the district attorney has discretion in handling the case. The district attorney may decide to drop the charge, reduce the charge, or offer no reduction at all.

A complainant’s attitude about the case may have a significant impact on how the district attorney will proceed. In a case where the complainant reveals that he or she would like to drop the charges, your Criminal Defense Attorney Buffalo NY may arrange to meet with the complainant and obtain more information. However, deciding what steps are permissible and how to achieve the end result may be problematic for the Criminal Defense Attorney Buffalo NY. Any improper actions could lead to additional criminal charges, which could include intimidating a witness or even bribery.

Furthermore, if the accused attempts to persuade the complainant to provide false testimony, it could be admissible to show consciousness of guilt, if the actions are done with the accused’s knowledge and consent. Criminal Defense Attorney Buffalo NY must also avoid preparing an affidavit by which a person falsely recants prior testimony. Again, this could lead to additional charges, if the accused has knowledge and consents to the attorney’s actions, as well as ethical sanctions against the attorney.

In the event that the complainant contacts the Criminal Defense Attorney Buffalo NY and expresses a desire to drop the criminal charges, counsel for the accused should consider having the complainant sign an affidavit  and include in the affidavit any discrepancies between what was alleged in the accusatory instrument and what the person actually says occurred. It is also important for counsel to emphasize the weaknesses in the prosecutions case, as well as a clear statement that the defense attorney did not provide legal advice to the complainant. Bottom line, all information in the affidavit should be accurate.

Please be advised, this is not legal advice. For a free consultation, contact a criminal defense attorney buffalo ny or criminal lawyer buffalo ny today

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