What is the role of the prosecutor in a criminal case?

Facing criminal charges is a very serious matter, regardless of what you are accused of doing. If you are found guilty at trial, you could face harsh consequences that negatively affect your life. During a criminal trial, a prosecutor represents the government, and they play a significant role in the justice system. Essentially, they hold a criminal defendant’s life in their hands. As such, it’s vital to understand the responsibilities and duties of a prosecutor in a criminal case to help you better navigate the complexities of this challenging time. If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s in your best interest to contact a seasoned Rockland County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help shield you from your charges to safeguard you from an uncertain future. 

What are the duties of the prosecutor during a criminal case?

When you’re arrested for an alleged crime, the prosecutor is the government official who files criminal charges against you. The prosecution has the power to decide whether they should file criminal charges against a criminal defendant. During an arrangement hearing, the first appearance before the judge, signifying the start of the criminal trial process, the prosecutor will provide the judge with bail recommendations. Bail recommendations are based on a criminal defendant’s criminal history, whether they’re considered a flight risk, and their relative risk to the public. The prosecutor has the power to recommend denying bail altogether.

After the arrangement, the prosecutor can negotiate plea bargains at their discretion. It’s imperative to note that plea bargains are not offered to all criminal defendants. If a plea deal is accepted, the criminal case will not proceed to a trial as the criminal defendant has entered a guilty plea in exchange for a lesser sentence. If the defendant rejects the plea bargain, the prosecutor will proceed to select jury members for the trial.

Will they have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

While the prosecutor has various duties they must fulfill during a criminal trial, the most significant responsibility they must carry out is proving a criminal defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Ultimately, they must prove without uncertainty that the criminal defendant committed the crime they are accused of committing. During a trial, they can gather evidence and present the case facts, put witnesses on the stand, request expert statements, and present legal arguments. The jury will deliver a guilty verdict if they can prove a criminal defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury returns a guilty verdict, the prosecutor will assist in recommending sentencing based on whether the defendant has prior offenses or existing aggravating factors. Nevertheless, sentencing is up to the judge’s discretion.

If the prosecutor does not prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant will not be convicted. Therefore, if you’re facing criminal charges, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined Rockland County criminal defense attorney, who can fight on your behalf to help you clear your name. At the Law Office of Carl Spector, we are prepared to defend your rights.