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When someone is arrested for battery, who makes the determination of which statute to charge the accused with?

Orlando, FL |

for instance: after bailing out I get the document from first appearance that says
1 cnt.-burglary with assault or battery
1 cnt.-cause bodily harm or disability
does the cop or their supervisor or a county judge or ... ? make the decision of what the charges will be? I know I did not get told what I was being arrested for but I did overhear a deputy telling someone else what the charges were and they are the same as on this document so again; I'm wondering who does the charging because as of now I figure it is the arresting officer. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thank you for your time.

to clarify I was asking about the arresting charges that you see first not the formal charge that you go to trial on. So If I understand them correctly Mr. Randall and Almquist answered the question as The Arresting Officer. I find that interesting because I am friends with a deputy (20 year vet.) and he is a good guy but not the brightest and is without any legal knowledge (he admittedly has never read his policy handbook and claims he threw it in trash and laughed about it ) so It seems odd that if he is arresting someone he would get to make that determination of what the charges are when he does not know the law himself. For instance in this case you have the incident report that clearly states no injured party but a charge that states "caused bodily harm and disability" which makes no sense at all. And I have read the statute and it is very clear not some cryptic kings english legalese stuff. Thanks for the replies

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    I agree with the other attorneys. The State Attorney makes the decision as to what charges to file.
    The arresting officer makes the decision as to what charges someone is arrested for. The State Attorney has a lot of discretion to charge them with different charges, the same ones, or to drop them entirely. They're supposed to look over the police report(s), talk to witnesses, and use their legal knowledge to determine what the correct charges are.
    That being said, some State Attorneys will often just file whatever charges a person is arrested for, either because they are they have a ton of cases, they trust the cops, they're lazy, or they don't want to challenge the cop's decision.
    Good luck. Make sure you have a good lawyer; those are serious charges.


  2. The state attorney, that is the prosecutor, makes the decision about what to charge you with.

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******


  3. I agree with Ms Morcroft with an addition, retain an attorney.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  4. As mentioned elsewhere, while the police makes the arrest, it is the state attorney that makes the final determination as to what charges (if any) get filed.
    Good luck,
    727.286.6141


  5. This is a good question. Many times the police make the original charge but it is always up to the State Attorney's Office to determine what the formal charge will be since they file the charging document called an Information. These look like serious charges. I think it would be a good idea if you retain your own attorney. If you need my help call 407-831-3434.


  6. The State Attorney's Office decides what charges will actually be filed against you. After the arrest affidavit and all relevant evidence is reviewed , the State Attorney determines what charges they have a reasonable likelihood of proving. They can drop all charges, add entirely new charges or modify the charges that you are actually arrested on. They do this through filing a document called an "Information" You may want to consult with an attorney in your area because if you are cahrged with different offense from what you bonded out on then your bond may need to be addressed with the court. They may make you post an additional bond.

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