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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?

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Attorney answers 7

Best Answer
Posted

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.

Posted

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 www.macyjaggers.com for more information about her services and recent victories.

Asker

Posted

What if the defendant presents material proof showing a receipt (with time, date, address and credit card number) that proves the location of the defendant was miles away of where the defendant is being accused of having done something? The time on the receipt is also very close to the alleged time. The defendant was with a friend too, so this friend can testify to it. Would this be enough proof?

Macy Michelle Jaggers

Macy Michelle Jaggers

Posted

No. Friends lie to help their friends out all the time, so this will have little weight with the DA. And anyone couldve used that credit card. These are things that are raised in the normal scope of defense but are not dispositive of the case.

Asker

Posted

and people lie all the time to get other people convicted.

Macy Michelle Jaggers

Macy Michelle Jaggers

Posted

Of course. But I'm responding to your question about how the DA will perceive that evidence.

Posted

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: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: howard@brooklynlaw.net. This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.

Asker

Posted

What if the defendant presents material proof showing a receipt (with time, date, address and credit card number) that proves the location of the defendant was miles away of where the defendant is being accused of having done something? The time on the receipt is also very close to the alleged time. The defendant was with a friend too, so this friend can testify to it. Would this be enough proof?

Howard A. Schwartz

Howard A. Schwartz

Posted

Difficult to answer. Much more information would be necessary. *************** The Attorney-Client Privilege applies to this Email *************** Howard A. Schwartz, Esq. Schwartz & Krysinski, LLP 50 Court Street, Suite 506 Brooklyn, New York 11201 Howard@brooklynlaw.net c: (718) 208-6094 o: (718) 643-9333 f: (718) 522-5644

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

Defendant is certain the only "proof" DA has is complainant's words and that is why DA hasn't gone forward. What if the defendant presents material proof showing a receipt (with time, date, address and credit card number) that proves the location of the defendant was miles away of where the defendant is being accused of having done something? The time on the receipt is also very close to the alleged time. The defendant was with a friend too, so this friend can testify to it. Would this be enough proof?

Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs

Posted

I can only guess at what the DA would do. My guess is that the DA would have the receipt and the friend investigated. If the investigation convinced the DA that the defendant did not commit the offense the case would not be pursued. If the DA believed, on the basis of the investigation, that the evidence was false, the defendant would be charged not only with the underlying offense but also with obstruction. If the DA thought that the evidence was inconclusive the prosecution would go ahead and the jury would decide at trial whom to believe.

Asker

Posted

OK great, of course the evidence I want to show is true. So why isn't my attorney presenting this evidence to the DA?

Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs

Posted

You have to ask your attorney that. I can tell you, however, and I mean absolutely no disrespect, that in my close to forty years of practice the greatest disasters I have ever seen have all come from attorneys who were persuaded to act aggressively based upon the assurances of their clients that certain evidence was reliable.

Asker

Posted

OK, but my point is that since I didn't do any of the things I am being accused of, that I wasn't even in the area etc... That it would therefore be impossible for the DA to prove I did. If you were genuinely innocent, why wouldn't you want your attorney to act aggressively?

Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs

Posted

Take this up with your attorney. Nobody else has any business looking over your lawyer's shoulder.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much for your help

Posted

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 Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. 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.

Asker

Posted

Defendant is certain the only "proof" DA has is complainant's words. What if the defendant presents material proof showing a receipt (with time, date, address and credit card number) that proves the location of the defendant was miles away of where the defendant is being accused of having done something? The time on the receipt is also very close to the alleged time. The defendant was with a friend too, so this friend can testify to it. Would this be enough proof?

Eric Edward Rothstein

Eric Edward Rothstein

Posted

Be sure your lawyer has served alibi notice on the DA. You really should be asking our lawyer these questions.

Asker

Posted

My lawyer isn't answering my emails.

Eric Edward Rothstein

Eric Edward Rothstein

Posted

If it is because he doesn't respond on the weekend that is one thing. If you always have a problem communicating with your lawyer you may need a new lawyer.

Asker

Posted

No it's been almost 10 days.

Eric Edward Rothstein

Eric Edward Rothstein

Posted

Like I said you may need a new lawyer.

Posted

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)
Jlopiccolo@hbclaw.net

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.

Asker

Posted

What if the defendant presents material proof showing a receipt (with time, date, address and credit card number) that proves the location of the defendant was miles away of where the defendant is being accused of having done something? The time on the receipt is also very close to the alleged time. The defendant was with a friend too, so this friend can testify to it. Would this be enough proof?

Joseph A Lo Piccolo

Joseph A Lo Piccolo

Posted

It may be but again, your friend testifying would be at a trial. DA's should do the right thing and with alibi evidence like this, they should dismiss but again it's in their discretion. Good Luck! 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) Jlopiccolo@hbclaw.net

Posted

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 www.nytaxcounsel.com

Asker

Posted

Why hasn't this been changed? This doesn't make sense at all, what happens to defendants who are innocent? This is wasting everybody's time. Has anyone tried to change this part of the law?

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