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Can the DA charge different charges or more charges than whats on the police report?

Modesto, CA |

Can the DA put more charges on me even if the police did not state in his report admission of smoking marijuana or an open container, they found out by the video of the stop? What if the video proves that I was not lethargic nor stumbling?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Absolutely. As long as the DA and in most jurisdictions the Grand Jury conclude there is probable cause that a crime is committed, regardless of what's listed in the reports, those charges can be alleged; it happens all the time.

  2. The DA can charge you with whatever he or she thinks the evidence supports, regardless of what the officer arrested you for. Now, whether or not they could prove the charge is another matter. That is what you need a lawyer for. Your lawyer will review all of the evidence, investigate the case, negotiate with the DA, and advise you about what your best course of action would be.

    As far as the video goes, that is something that the DA will likely consider when deciding what to charge you with, and it's something your lawyer will review to determine how best to fight your case.

  3. Yes the police officer makes a recommendation. The DA files criminal charges. They can file anything that they think they can prove in court.
    Robert Driessen

  4. The short answer is "yes" -- but that's not as bad as it sounds.

    You have two issues -- (1) what can the D.A. charge; and (2) can the video help. As to the first, the D.A. can charge whatever they want. And they overcharge ALL OF THE TIME. But this isn't necessarily bad. If your lawyer is good, and is willing (and eager) to go to trial, then they can use overcharging to undermine the entire case. Overcharging allows a defense attorney to argue to a jury "the prosecution wants you to believe that defendant did (A, B, and C). There is absolutely no evidence of (B and C). So how can you, the jury, trust the evidence related to (A)." Remember, the jury has the power to take away all of the power held by the D.A. And if you have video evidence that undermines the D.A.'s case, then you are in a good position for trial.

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