If they don't have enough evidence it should just go to trial and get acquitted.
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You need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain to get the charge reduced to a lesser offense. If you try to represent yourself, you risk being convicted and sentenced to the maximum penalty.
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Unless Missouri law is very unusual there is nothing the judge can do about because it is the prosecutor, not the judge, who determines what the charge is going to be. The prosecutor always has the power and discretion to reduce the charge, but the price of a reduction is almost inevitably a plea of guilty to the reduced charge. The failure of the police to find a weapon or stolen property a year later will do nothing to persuade the prosecutor that the evidence is insufficient to convict. I hope the defendant has an attorney for this very serious charge. When it comes to sentencing, judges do not like armed robbers. In the judge's eyes, every armed robbery is a potential murder.
Generally, prosecutors are not very inclined to drop a serious felony to a lesser offense. However, where the facts of the case and other factors warrant it, they may be willing to do so. As an example, I represented a client charged with the class B felony of 1st-degree burglary for his role in an incident at a casino here in the St. Louis area. After beating up on the State's two key witnesses, the prosecutor agreed to amend the burglary charge to a simple peace disturbance, for which my client spent neither a day in prison nor paid a single cent as a fine, instead being placed on probation for a one-year period. The key is to hire the best criminal defense lawyer that you can afford in order to minimize or eliminate the harsh negative consequences that can stem from such a charge. Good luck to you.
John M. Eccher
WARD & ECCHER | Trial Attorneys
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