How does the prosecutor decide which cases to pursue?
Prosecutors enjoy what’s called “prosecutorial discretion.” As members of the executive branch of government, they, not judges, they decide who to charge with criminal activity and who not to charge. They have discretion.
Federal prosecutors are salaried employees, other than the United States Attorney, in one of the ninety-seven federal districts. He or she is appointed by the President with the consent of the United States Senate. Very often local prosecutors are elected. The prosecutors who work for the main prosecutor are called assistants, assistant district attorneys, assistant state attorneys or assistant United States attorneys. They decide, based on guidelines in their office and very often, frankly, political considerations, who should be charged and who shouldn’t.
If you’re being investigated for a crime, it’s a wonderful window of opportunity for your criminal defense lawyer to use his or her expertise to try to do everything possible to make sure you are not charged. You don’t want to be charged with a crime, state or federal, if it can be avoided. The earlier and the soonest you get a criminal defense lawyer to fight for you, the better off you’re going to be. We can help you. Call us.