What if a prosecutor on a federal case change?

Asked 12 months ago - Indianapolis, IN

Is it a good or bad thing if a prosecutor change on a case? Can the new prosecutor make the decision of if the case is not strong enough to be filed federally, and give it back to the state?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Stephen F Wallace

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There can be substitution of counsel. It happens. It does not mean that the case is strong or weak. But, you are correct. Sometimes a second set of eyes might see the flaws of an indictment's set of facts and reconsider it altogether. There is no state handover. Both can prosecute at the same time for the same crime, one a Federal crime and one a state crime. Plan for all occasions. Work with an attorney. Take Care!

  2. Raymond George Wigell

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Great questions. The answer is not as clear. It depends. Many times the change will not matter in the sense that it will not change the way that the government prosecutes the case. It may matter if the personalities of the prosecutor and the defense attorney mesh better or worse.
    It is a new "bite of the apple" and I'm that sense I always approach it as new hope for positive movement for the defense. I hope it is so in your situation.

    Of course, every answer is based on the question asked and requires a more complete context. This answer should... more
  3. Steven Andrew Brody

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Just to add to what my colleagues have said: it is not uncommon in some jurisdictions to have a different prosecutor handle the case before it is indicted (if it ever is) or up until trial, and then hand over to another department. This can be good or bad. A lot in this system depends on who your prosecutor is.

    Sometimes, a case will be abandoned by the state if the feds are going to prosecute it (especially where, for example, a new minor crime triggers a violation of federal supervised release, and the defendant is looking at more time on the federal probation violation than the state crime). However, it is less common for the feds to abandon a case because the state is going to prosecute it. But as my colleague points out, either or both can prosecute crimes and it is not double jeopardy.

    I am a CA attorney and this is just meant to get you started in looking for the right lawyer! This is not legal... more
  4. Anthony Michael Solis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Often, federal prosectors stay with a case from beginning to end, however, often, federal cases take a long time to finish and prosectuors get transferred or leave the office. It doesn't mean all that much to the case, except maybe someone less familiar is working on the case. The new prosecutor can make whatever decision about the case he or she wants, but probably has to get approval to dismiss a case in favor of a state prosecution.

    No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,106 answers this week

2,822 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,106 answers this week

2,822 attorneys answering