The Criminal Defense Process Part 2- Charging the Defendant with a Crime
Hello, my name is Brandan Davies. I am a criminal defense lawyer with the law firm Copley Roth & Davies here in Overland Park, Kansas. In this series of videos I am going to be walking you through a criminal defense case from start to finish. In this video we are going to be talking about the charging decision or when charges or going to be brought. Once the investigation stage is concluded, the police have done their investigation, they are going to turn over the products of their investigation to the prosecutor. Now, there is a couple of different prosecutors that they may turn that over to depending on the allegations or the crime they believe has been committed. It may be a city prosecutor or it may be a state prosecutor. This will be the first time that a lawyer gets to look at the product of the police investigation and start determining what they want to charge the person with, or what crime has been committed. Now, prosecutors have a very wide latitude of what they can decide to charge a person with based on the investigation. They have, what they call, prosecutorial discretion. After the prosecutor has looked at the fruits of the investigation, and determined what charges are appropriate for this person to be charged with, they will try to seek out an arrest warrant and contemporaneously file a complaint. That complaint will have listed out the charges which the prosecutor thinks that they can prove and they will seek to go get an arrest warrant from a judge. Now, remember that the prosecutor alone does not have the power to issue an arrest warrant. At this stage, the charging stage, a criminal defense lawyer is usually not involved because either the person does not know they are going to be charged with a crime, or does not know that their charges are forthcoming. For more information on the progress of a criminal defense case, please watch our next video about arrests.