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Can the prosecutor change my charges mid trial, or re-try me for a lesser charge?

Princeton, NJ |

I was arrested in DC originally for a APO-Misd outside of a bar. I did not recoginze the officer as an officer and assumed he was a bouncer. He cursed at me and didn't annouce himself, didnt have a badge on, or a name plate. During an exchange of words pushed me and I pushed him back. And I was arrested. Anyway, after 2 months of declining a plea dea the prosecutor has upped my charge to APO Felony based on the fact that the officer is now claiming her has a concussion and has not been able to return to work from our scuffle -_- I want to know during the middle of trial can the prosecutor change my charge again to say Simple Assault, or retry me after I'm found not guilty for simple assault or APO-Misd or anything period. My main defense is that I didnt recognize as a cop but did push him

I'm not yelling but I want to be clear (I'M CHARGED WITH FELONY APO & FAILURE TO OBEY A LAWFUL ORDER, I FIRMLY BELIEVE I WILL BEAT BOTH CHARGES. HOWEVER, I'M AFRAID THAT I GUIILTY OF SIMPLE ASSAULT...DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE TRIAL CAN THE PROSECUTOR CHANGE WHAT THE GOV'T IS CHARGING/TRYING ME FOR? SUCH AS SIMPLE ASSAULT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?) There are other facts to the case but I didn't think they are needed for my current question although I have more. Also, I have been appointed a court appointed attorney, which I'm email and leave VMs for on a weekly basis. SInce declining the plea, I've wanted second opinions on a few things.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

You need to contact an attorney from the area familiar with the DC courts and procedures. I believe they are federal. You can be convicted of a "lesser included offense", meaning they can try you for the greater but only find proof of the lesser. However you can be tried for this event only once. Look up Mohammed Bashir. He has offices in DC but also in NJ. He is an expereeinced criminal defense attorney.

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Posted

I added this to my comment: "I'm not yelling but I want to be clear (I'M CHARGED WITH FELONY APO & FAILURE TO OBEY A LAWFUL ORDER, I FIRMLY BELIEVE I WILL BEAT BOTH CHARGES. HOWEVER, I'M AFRAID THAT I GUIILTY OF SIMPLE ASSAULT...DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE TRIAL CAN THE PROSECUTOR CHANGE WHAT THE GOV'T IS CHARGING/TRYING ME FOR? SUCH AS SIMPLE ASSAULT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?)" Based off of this could you give me a clearer answer then "lesser included offense" please bc I'm not exactly sure what that means legally. If they find proof that I simply assault another human being (me pushing him) but that isn't the orginally charge since its a assault on a police officer are you saying I can be convicted of simple assault even though its not a current charge? I know I'm being wordy but I'm trying to make sure I'm really clear on my question.

Mark M Cheser

Mark M Cheser

Posted

I am sorry I was not clear. A lesser included offense is a charge the is an element of a greater charge. You are charged with assault on a police officer. If you look at the statute this can be simple assault on a poice officer. Let say, as you suggest, that the State cannot prove the guy told you he was a cop and how would you know otherwise. But they were able to prove that you assaulted the guy, cop or not. You can be convicted of the lesser included offense of simple assault. The prosecuor is not changing the theory he just can't prove the element that makes it a felony. Take that away and you still have simple assault.

Posted

There is no confidentiality online. Volunteering to answer this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The likelihood of a positive outcome- exoneration or a mitigated sentence- is increased with the help of an experienced criminal litigator. If you do not care for your appointed attorney, retain a private one. Seek out an experienced criminal litigator for a free consultation. If you cannot find one on Avvo, search at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL.org) Speak to several attorneys and hire the one that makes you feel confident and comfortable. NACDL local members: http://tinyurl.com/8ru8wtv

Educational purposes answer. | FACDL.org | NACDL.org | Defendme.net | twitter.com/JReganLLM | Non-privileged answer.

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They are right. You need a good local DC lawyer.

www.estrellalawyer.com

The answers posted herein are not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship exists. Call for a free 20 minute consultation! THE ESTRELLA LAW FIRM, P.C. “LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND CONSULTING SERVICES THAT GO THE EXTRA MILE” -- Jeffrey J. Estrella, Esq. Licensed Attorney and Counsellor At Law/Abogado y Licensiado Licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut The Estrella Law Firm, P.C. 75-20 Astoria Boulevard, Suite 170 Inside The Bulova Corporate Center Jackson Heights, NY 11370 T. (347) 628-2391 F. (718) 672-4728 E. Estrella.Jeffrey@gmail.com www.EstrellaLawyer.com

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Posted

Sounds like they amended the charge prior to trial. Yes, generally the prosecution can do that. If it is right against trial on the other hand, procedural and substantive due process concerns arise under the Constitution and DC laws. The big thing is that you have 'notice' of the underlying facts, I.e. The state alleges you pushed an officer intentionally and caused injury. That hasn't changed and they put you on notice of new charges simply because the level of injury they claim you caused is mor severe than originally thought. Certainly these are questions for your lawyer and if you don't have one I suggest you hire counsel immediately or apply for a public defender if you qualify.

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