Three juveniles were arrested for burglary. Can a guilty plea by one affect the outcomes of the other boys' hearings?
One boy's lawyer is planning to ask for the case to be dismissed. Can this impact the other hearings?
4 attorney answers
The short answer is yes, maybe. However, just because one lawyer is moving for his client's case to be dismissed, that does not mean that the case will in fact be dismissed. If this is a case where one client is making a deal with the state to testify against the co-defendants then there may be a chance the defendant cooperating with the state would have their case dismissed. Or this may be a bad identification or there may be a defect in case that we are unaware of. Without more information, it would difficult to answer this question. You should sit down with a practiced criminal defense attorney to review the case in greater detail.
Each case should bone treated as separate and distinct. There could be a case of mistaken identity with regard to one boy only. One boy may have an alibi. The prosecutor will look at all facets of the case.
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A lawyer can ask for a case to get dismissed but cases don't get dimissed unless there is a compelling reason (legal, factual or both) for the same to occur.
That said, to answer the question "Can a guilty plea by one affect the outcomes of the other boys' hearings?"... Yes, and in many ways.
For instance, if statements are made then they are likely admissible and once the case is closed (by way of a guilty plea or otherwise) then the person no longer enjoys a 5th Amendment privilege and can be compelled by the State to be a witness and to testify (this cannot happen when the case is alive and a not guilty plea is in effect).
The government can also offer one of the defendant's a plea deal rife with incentives to "flip" and testify as a state's witness against the remaining defendants.
Lots of things can (and do routinely) happen, This is a recurring problem when you are dealing with multiple defendant cases.
My advise: Lawyer up and prepare for the rats to flee the sinking ship.
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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It is not so much the plea as the possibility that there is some kind of deal particularly if the one is then going to testify against the others, but yes, how each chooses to handle his or her own situation may impact the others' cases.
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