My son was arrested for armed robbery. He is 18 and has no prior felonies. A girl made up the story and I know her motives for revenge partially because my son owed her boyfriend some money. There is no evidence other than her sworn statement & her showing police a social media account of my son’s that showed a pic of some handguns & some cash. The guns were not his or in his possession but they were on his social media. At the same time, I’ve seen the accusers social media which shows pics of a female hand holding a lot of cash & more pics of cash. There is no other evidence because the armed robbery never happened. What are the chances of this being dropped vs going to trial?
No, defense attorneys do not have discretion to drop cases. Only prosecutors can do that and they very seldom drop armed robbery cases. You made a very good decision by hiring an attorney for your son!
You ask 2 very different questions when comparing the title of the question to the question in the later description.
Question 1: Is it possible for the attorney to keep the retainer if the case is dropped?
Yes it's possible. I am assuming you signed a written agreement which lays out the attorney's responsibilities. There's a lot of work that goes into these kinds of cases. Attorney's have to plan, investigate, interview witnesses, map out cross-examinations of the State's witnesses, all before stepping into the courtroom. Sometimes, it's the work of the defense attorney that convinces the prosecutor not to go forward. I imagine if I was that attorney, I would want to be paid for that work. I imagine if you were that attorney, you would too.
2. What are the chances of this being dropped before going to trial?
That's going to depend completely on the prosecutor. In our justice system, prosecutors are the ones who have the authority to decide what to charge and what not to charge. They have the authority to decide whether to go forward on a case, offer a plea deal, or dismiss a case. In my time, I have heard prosecutors say that they would rather push a case to trial and lose rather than dismiss a case or offer a plea on a lesser charge because they don't want to appear to be "soft on crime." Prosecutors at the State level are elected officials, and they don't want to lose the next election for any reason, especially appearing to be soft on crime. So many of the attorneys who work for them are tough, or act tough, which can include being unreasonable.
I hope this helps.
I agree with Maksim. Your son needs a high quality defense attorney. Don't consider going without one.
This case won’t redolve itself on its own. It’s the careful, detailed examination of the facts, statements, reports, witness interviews and media that allows the defense Atty to have a detailed discussion with the states Atty. IF your defense Atty gets the case dismissed without a trial he deserves DOUBLE the fee because your son was discharged without ever being in jeopardy. That means your Atty won the war without a shot fired toward your son. Shake his hand like it’s a water pump handle and kiss the ground he walks upon. GREAT JOB! That being said... it’s a rare outcome unless some witness comes forward and undeniably exhonerates your son with lots of corroborating evidence. Good Luck!
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