Charging - Indiana Criminal Litigation Process
After the police conclude their investigation, they will make several recommendations to a prosecuting attorney. Primarily, they will advise on whether they feel charges should be filed against an individual. If so, they will also recommend which specific charges should be levied. This is a crucial stage of the criminal process, and one that is often overlooked by some attorneys. In some circumstances, an experienced criminal defense attorney can present additional evidence to a prosecutor that he or she would not have known from the investigator's recommendation. Sometimes, this type of presentation can convince the prosecutor that charges should not be filed at all. Even in circumstances in which an individual has in fact done something wrong, an effective presentation to a prosecutor can convince him or her that the actions still do not rise to the level of criminal conduct.
Obviously, this is not always the case. If that is unsuccessful, a defense attorney can sometimes be successful in working out "pre-charge" arrangements that minimize a client's exposure at sentencing. There are several scenarios in which the subject of an investigation can minimize a penalty he or she could be subjected to by working with prosecutors before charges are even filed.