Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

How do prosecutors decide to prosecute a case?

When authorities believe a crime has been committed and make an arrest, charges are not always a guarantee. Before pressing charges, the police will write an arrest report and have it looked at by a prosecutor. The prosecutor will then make a judgment: should I send this case to a grand jury and let them decide what charges to file? Should I make charges formal without a grand jury or should I drop the case altogether?

It's important to understand that our criminal justice system is run by humans. Humans are subject to prejudice, preconceived notions and ulterior motives. In deciding whether to pursue a case or not, a prosecutor may have many things in mind:

  • Running for office. Prosecutors often have political aspirations so cases that might make them look tough on crime in their communities.
  • Office policies. In filing charges, prosecutors may simply be following office policies that determine which crimes will be pursued and which ones won't.
  • Their sense of right and wrong. As we stated earlier, prosecutors are human and thus have their own ideas of right and wrong. One prosecutor may see a certain crime as minor while another sees it as major.

If the prosecutor decides to go after a person who's been arrested, they will need to go before a judge and prove that they have enough evidence to take the case to trial.

As you can see, if you're accused of a crime like drug possession, the state is already preparing a case. That's why it may be in your best interests to speak with a criminal defense attorney and start building a defense.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Need Help From An Experienced Team Of Trial Attorneys?

Use the form below to contact our attorneys directly. Contact us right now.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience and are AV-rated* under Martindale Hubbell's peer review rating system.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map