Prosecutors are in command of bringing forth criminal charges against accused individuals. For sexual assault cases, their authority could be felt before and after an arrest. In addition, you can trust the prosecution to only bring forth a sex crime charge if they believe the evidence is strong enough to render a conviction.
If you have been charged with a sexual-related offense, do not delay in getting in touch with a skilled attorney at Leifert & Leifert. Our legal professionals understand the role of a prosecutor in a West Palm Beach sex crime case and could leverage their experience to help you build a solid defense. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.
When is a Prosecutor Assigned to a Sexual Assault Case?
If law enforcement believes there is enough probable cause and sufficient factual information to arrest an individual for a sexual-related offense, they will put the individual under arrest. Once the arrest is made, the case would then be turned over to the legal system where a prosecutor will be assigned to the case post-arrest.
A prosecutor may be involved in a case before an arrest is made when law enforcement needs a warrant to get DNA evidence from the alleged attacker. By obtaining DNA evidence, the prosecutor would have a much more solid case, so it is convenient for them to get a warrant to obtain this kind of evidence.
What is the Role of the Prosecutor?
The prosecutor’s role is to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Facts based on suspicion is one thing, but factual proof beyond the reasonable doubt is another. Thus, the prosecutor’s initial role is to make sure that there is enough evidence to prove the case. Once the prosecutor has a good faith basis to believe that they have the evidence to prove that the alleged attacker is guilty, they will bring forth criminal charges.
The prosecutor’s role can also be characterized as a screen for cases before they get to court since they get to decide whether a case gets to court or not. If the case does not make it, the prosecutor must explain why it did not make it. If the case does make it to court, the prosecutor must present all relevant facts to the charge or allegation in front of a jury or judge.
What Happens During the Initial Meeting Between the Prosecutor and the Alleged Victim?
In the initial meeting between the prosecutor and the alleged victim, the prosecutor will consider whether they are going to bring this case forward on their behalf and on behalf of the state of Florida. They will interview the alleged victim to make them feel comfortable that their interest and their complaint is going to be presented in court. The prosecutor will then determine as to whether that they believe that the alleged victim’s account is credible and whether or not they have a good case.
Does the Prosecutor Ever Meet with the Defendant?
A prosecutor will not meet with an alleged attacker unless the attorney of the alleged attacker agrees to a meeting. A prosecutor will generally not talk to an unrepresented alleged attacker, but law enforcement may try to contact the alleged attacker in an attempt to get an admission of guilt or some corroborating facts to bolster the allegations being made by the alleged victim.
Why is it Important to Hire an Attorney Following a Sex Charge?
The nature of sexual assault investigations makes it important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Individuals charged will need someone who has experience with this type of offense to help with collecting evidence and with hiring experts to present the evidence in order to contradict, refute, or cast a shadow of doubt on the reliability of that evidence.
For help with challenging the role of a prosecutor in a West Palm Beach sex crime case, get in touch with one of our legal professionals at Leifert & Leifert today.