Why might a case not go to trial?
• If the prosecutor determines that there is not sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction, he may file a motion asking to dismiss the case; this is only done after a thorough investigation and normally after police have exhausted all avenues for obtaining additional evidence. The judge will grant the motion to dismiss if he is satisfied that the case cannot be proven at trial.
• A defendant may choose to plead guilty and may not want a trial. In this case, the judge would impose a sentence immediately or at a separate hearing.
• The prosecution and the defense may decide to negotiate a plea in the case. The negotiated plea is basically an agreement between the attorney representing the State and the defendant and his attorney. It acknowledges that the State will recommend a specific punishment if the defendant will enter a guilty plea. There are advantages to both the State and the defendant in reaching such an agreement. The agreement is not binding upon the judge, who may impose any punishment within the range authorized by law.
• Our goal in negotiating a plea is to achieve a sentence similar to what a jury would likely do under the circumstances. If you have any questions regarding this process, contact the prosecutor handling your case.

Show All Answers

1. How is an arrest made?
2. What happens to the accused?
3. How does my case get to your office for prosecution?
4. What does a Grand Jury Do?
5. What is a Pre-Trial Hearing?
6. What happens when the case goes to trial?
7. What happens during judgment, sentencing and appeal?
8. Why might a case not go to trial?
9. Should I talk to an Investigator or Defense Attorney about the case?
10. How are witnesses called for trial?
11. What do I do at the Trial?
12. Can I be compensated for being a witness?
13. When can I have my property back?