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If a DA is given evidence proving defendant is NOT guilty of what is being accused, will DA then HAVE to drop the charges?

Brooklyn, NY |

Or can the DA deny the evidence and continue the investigation even though DA was presented with proof showing defendant isn't guilty?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Best answer

    Defendants often think that there is "evidence to prove they are innocent" and that may be true, but the prosecutor may not believe that witness or discount that evidence. Under the Brady Rule, they must turn over any evidence that is considered "exculpatory", but they sometimes ignore that rule if they feel no one will know they have such evidence. A prosecutor will make every effort to get a plea if they think the case is weak and they will lose a trial. They may even move to dismiss a case if they think the defendant cannot be proven guilty or is in fact innocent. You should retain a good criminal lawyer to investigate the facts, get witnesses or an alibi, find flaws in the prosecutor's case, and try to get the prosecutor to dismiss the case by offering affidavits and evidence attesting to your innocence. Please choose "best answer" if this was helpful. Good luck.

  2. The DA will take the evidence for whatever she thinks it's worth. Although you consider the evidence conclusive, the DA may not.

    Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

  3. That question is very fact specific. There are times that a prosecutor will drop charges if they can be convinced that the defendant has not committed a crime.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.

  4. It is very common for defendants to think that evidence conclusively establishes absence of guilt when from the viewpoint of the law it does no such thing. The decision whether to pursue the case lies with the DA.

  5. No. If the evidence I'd exculpatory the DA must give it to the defense. However, presumably the DA had some evidence of guilt so its a question for the jury.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  6. They can continue. It is their discretion to accept or reject evidence or call it an issue of fact a jury should decide.

    Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
    Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
    Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
    1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
    Garden City, NY 11530
    516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.

  7. Making the assumption, for the sake of discussion, that you had evidence that utterly proved your innocence, it's almost impossible to force a DA to drop an investigation, or even to drop a prosecution. These things are basically left up to the discretion and judgment - good or poor - of the DA. In other words, the DA can simply say "take it to the jury."

    My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference. If you wish to consult with me please contact me at dana@nytaxcounsel or visit my website at

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