When you go to court for an alleged crime, you’ll face a few people. First, and perhaps the most important, is the judge – he or she will decide whether you’re guilty (unless you have a jury) and will be the one who comes up with the punishment if you are. (Don’t worry, though – the state has maximum penalties that judges can impose on crimes; the judge won’t randomly decide that you deserve 15 years in prison for accidentally stealing a tomato from the supermarket.)
One of the other people you’ll face is the prosecuting attorney, who’s sometimes just called the prosecutor for short. The prosecutor represents the city, county or state in your trial. His or her job is to prove to the judge or jury that you’re guilty of the crime you’ve been accused of committing.
The prosecutor will go through all the evidence, talk to witnesses and gather facts about what happened in order to prove that you’re guilty. In some cases, criminal defense attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors before a trial; in fact, this is where many cases are resolved. The prosecutor may offer you a plea bargain, which is where you plead guilty to a lesser crime than the one you were originally charged with.
If you can’t reach a plea deal, the prosecutor prepares for a full trial. He or she will attempt to prove that you actually committed the crime, while your defense attorney will show that the prosecutor’s version of events doesn’t hold any water.
Depending on the nature of the crime, there might be a deputy prosecutor to help the lead prosecutor.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer Because You’ve Been Accused of a Crime?
If you need to talk to a criminal defense attorney because you’ve been accused of a crime and will face a prosecutor, we may be able to help you.
Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an attorney now. We’ll answer your questions and start developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.