Police officers arrest suspects, but prosecutors decide whether to file formal charges against suspects. Learn how charges are filed and what factors prosecutors may consider in deciding on particular charges.
Even the most well-intentioned prosecutors file charges against innocent suspects occasionally. Regardless of the reason charges were filed, innocent defendants want to know what they—or preferably, their lawyers—can do to avoid a conviction. So, other than going to trial, how can defendants avoid a guilty plea or verdict?
Prosecutors in state court often have the option of filing felony charges through an indictment rather than a complaint, which requires a preliminary hearing in front of a judge before an “information” can issue.