How Does Prosecutorial Discretion Affect Charging Decisions?

Can prosecutors make arrests?

For all criminal cases, public prosecutors decide arrests and charges on behalf of the public and are the only public officers who can make such decisions..

How does prosecutorial discretion improve the criminal justice process?

There are ample benefits to prosecutorial discretion. This power allows the prosecutor to mitigate the time and expense of a trial through expedient decision-making and plea bargaining. In the case of a plea bargain, the accused offender spends less time sitting in jail awaiting the necessary preparations for trial.

How much discretion do prosecutors have?

The answer is simple: “prosecutorial discretion.” Under American law, government prosecuting attorneys have nearly absolute and unreviewable power to choose whether or not to bring criminal charges and what charges to bring.

What are charging documents?

A charging document is a pleading that initiates criminal charges against a defendant. It—not arrest—signifies the commencement of a criminal case. Complaints, informations, and indictments are charging documents.

In what way does prosecutorial discretion serve to benefit the criminal justice system and defendants explain and provide examples?

Prosecutorial discretion is one of the most important aspects of our criminal justice system. … Prosecutors can choose not to prosecute a crime for which someone is arrested. They can decide to pursue less serious charges. They can offer plea bargains, including reduced or deferred sentences.

What does it mean no charges filed?

In other instances, the fact that no charges have been filed may simply mean that the assigned prosecutor has been busy, is behind on their work, and hasn’t had a chance to take a look at the intake. It also may mean some of the following.

What does prosecutorial discretion mean?

Prosecutorial discretion is the authority of an agency or officer to decide what charges to bring and how to pursue each case. A law-enforcement officer who declines to pursue a case against a person has favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion.

What type of discretion do judges exercise select one?

Judicial discretion is the power of the judiciary to make some legal decisions according to their discretion. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence.

Are prosecutors immune from prosecution?

Prosecutors are absolutely immune from liability, which means that they cannot be sued for their decisions as prosecutors, no matter how outrageous their conduct. The Supreme Court has held that absolute immunity protects prosecutors who knowingly used false testimony and suppressed evidence in a murder trial.

What is the definition of nolle prosequi?

nolle prosequi. (no-lay pro-say-kwee) n. Latin for “we shall no longer prosecute,” which is a declaration made to the judge by a prosecutor in a criminal case (or by a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit) either before or during trial, meaning the case against the defendant is being dropped.

What is prosecution pillar?

It is the forum where the prosecution is given the opportunity to prove that there is a strong evidence of guilt against the accused. It is also in the courts that the accused is given his “day” to disprove the accusation against him.

What does prosecutorial mean?

: of, relating to, or being a prosecutor or prosecution.

What is an abuse of discretion?

A failure to take into proper consideration the facts and law relating to a particular matter; an Arbitrary or unreasonable departure from precedent and settled judicial custom. An improvident exercise of discretion is an error of law and grounds for reversing a decision on appeal. …

What is discretion exercise?

What is the exercise of discretion? Administrative decisions often include the exercise of discretion. Discretion exists when the decision maker has the power to make a choice about whether to act or not act, to approve or not approve, or to approve with conditions.

How does a prosecutor decide to file charges?

The prosecutor then reads the police report and decides whether or not the person who’s been arrested should be charged with a crime. Alternatively, the prosecutor can go to a grand jury and ask them to decide what criminal charges should be filed (called an indictment).

What are some constraints on prosecutorial discretion?

These constraints—rules, resources, and relationships—could trump evaluations of strength of the evidence, seriousness of the offense, and defendant criminal history, forcing prosecutors to make decisions that they might not consider ideal.

What is judicial discretion?

Judicial Discretion Definition For centuries courts and commentators alike have wrestled with the concept of judicial discretion. The basic judicial discretion definition is the act of making a choice in the absence of a fixed rule and with regard to what is fair and equitable under the circumstances and the law.

What’s a plea bargain mean?

A plea bargain (also plea agreement or plea deal) is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty or nolo contendere to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor.

What does discretion mean?

2 : the quality of having or showing discernment or good judgment : the quality of being discreet : circumspection especially : cautious reserve in speech. 3 : ability to make responsible decisions. 4 : the result of separating or distinguishing. Synonyms & Antonyms More Example Sentences Learn More about discretion.

Are there still mandatory minimums?

While mandatory minimums have been in place in some states since the 1950s, their use grew after the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act, which added significant mandatory minimums for many federal crimes and abolished federal parole.

Does the prosecutor talk to the victim?

The prosecutor, victim, defendant and his/her attorney may comment to the court on matters they believe are important regarding the sentencing. The victim is offered anopportunity to speak to the judge about the impact the crime has had on his/her life.