What Causes Prosecutors To Elect Not To Prosecute Drug Cases?
When you get arrested on suspicion of drug offenses, it does not automatically mean that you will be charged with a crime. Your case can only move forward if prosecutors file charges against you, and the decision of whether to pursue that goal belongs to the prosecutors and not the judges. It is the judge’s decision what sentences to hand down to defendants who plead guilty or get a conviction at trial, and it is the jury’s decision whether to convict or acquit defendants who plead not guilty. Whether the defendant gets charged with a crime at all is up to the prosecutors. In cases that require a grand jury indictment, the decision to summon the grand jury and present the evidence to them also belongs to prosecutors; a grand jury can only indict a defendant if prosecutors give them the option to do so. In other words, the chances that your case will simply blow over without incident are greater than you think they are. To make the case to prosecutors that it is not worthwhile to pursue charges against you, contact a Florida drug offenses attorney.
Politics, Justice, and Limited Funds Make for Strange Bedfellows
The biggest reason that prosecutors elect not prosecute cases is when there is not enough evidence to convict the defendant. For example, if the forensic tests are inconclusive as to whether the substance the police confiscated from your car at a traffic stop was an illegal drug, the chances are that the prosecutors will not file charges. Likewise, prosecutors often elect not to prosecute domestic violence cases if the alleged victim refuses to cooperate with prosecutors, unless the prosecutors have evidence that witness intimidation was involved.
There are also several other reasons that prosecutors decline to pursue criminal cases, even when there is enough evidence that they could have a good chance of securing a guilty plea or a conviction:
- Prosecutors, being elected officials, want to appear to be tough on certain crimes, and therefore they focus on those crimes while electing not to prosecute other offenses
- Prosecutors think that, since the defendant has never been charged with a crime before and is unlikely to reoffend, it would be excessively harsh to pursue the current charges
- The state has finite resources and cannot afford to prosecute every case of a suspected crime, so it must prioritize the most serious crimes, such as drug trafficking and violent crime
In other words, prosecutors might decide that they have more important things to do than prosecute your case. Don’t take chances, though. Instead, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer to demonstrate early on that there is not enough evidence to convict you.
Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Drug Possession Cases
A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of drug possession, even before prosecutors formally charge you. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.