Understanding the Role of the Prosecutor in a Los Angeles Criminal Case

Anyone who has ever watched a courtroom drama unfold on television has often come away with the impression that the judge is the most powerful and influential player in the ultimate outcome of a DUI or other Criminal case. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, it is not the judge, but the prosecutor who in most circumstances can make a significant difference between whether a case is successfully resolved through a plea bargain. Every defendant, or person charged with a DUI or Criminal charge has a choice to either work out a negotiated settlement, or have their day in court by exercising their constitutional right to have a jury trial.

In a typical case, a person is represented by an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney who reviews all of the evidence contained in the arrest reports with his client, both evaluating all of the positive evidence in his client’s defense, as well as considering all negative evidence and witnesses against his client. Once this has been done, one must evaluate its clients story, which includes all exculpatory evidence and witnesses which can show the factual weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.

The relative credibility, or believability of all percipient witnesses must be taken into consideration as a backdrop for examining all evidence being offered, as well as statements of witnesses, which often include friends of the defendant, and police officers. This analysis, in the central to determine the advisability of being found not guilty should a jury trial be desired. A clients prior record of convictions can strongly affect any potential outcome.

Should the client determine that a trial is not in their best interest, then an attorney’s role shifts to negotiating a successful and favorable plea bargain with the prosecutor. In most high-volume Los Angeles courtrooms, with hundreds of cases each day, it is easy for a prosecutor to view his cases as nothing more than case numbers, rather than real people.

It is the most important job of your attorney to present not only every piece of favorable evidence, but to present as much strong and documented information to the prosecutor, to demonstrate your clients good record, the out of character nature of the alleged charge, strong work history and lack of prior bad acts, to personalize the way your clients appears.

The legal term for this process is called mitigation. This refers to changing the perception of the prosecutor by showing all of the positive qualities of your clients as set forth above, as well as any efforts your client has made recently, towards addressing the issues which got him in trouble, including all efforts expended towards rehabilitation, and raising the clients awareness to reduce the possibility of reoffending.

Therefore, changing the prosecutor’s perception of how he feels about your client on paper, is critical to negotiating a result that is the most favorable outcome possible, based upon the facts and evidence being used against your client.

Your attorneys strong relationship, and years of experience negotiating with the prosecutor can make all the difference in the world in the ultimate results of what the prosecutor is seeking. Unlike television, the judge does not have the power or authority to negotiate a plea bargain, without the prosecutors agreement. A great majority of Los Angeles charges are resolved through the valuable negotiation of defense lawyers on their client’s behalf. This process, protects the clients from the large amount of exposure to jail time, as well as other penalties should the client be found guilty at trial. Knowing, and understanding the power of the prosecutor in a courtroom setting, has been a huge benefits to keeping our client out of jail, as well as being convicted of many serious charges.