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When can your criminal charges be reduced?

When the charges you face are reduced, you will be charged with less serious crimes, which is good news for you. There are several reasons why the prosecution may choose to reduce your charges. As a result, you could end up serving a considerably lighter sentence with reduced charges.

Below are such instances.

Insufficient evidence

If the evidence the prosecution has cannot prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then they could reduce your charges to fit the evidence in their possession. For instance, if you were initially facing felony charges but critical evidence is missing, the prosecution will want to reduce the chances of a not guilty verdict.

In that case, your charges could be reduced to a misdemeanor if the precaution thinks the evidence they have will be enough to prove your guilt for the lesser charges.

Accepting a plea deal

A plea deal is made between the prosecution and the defendant. Here, you may plead guilty to lesser charges. In return for a lenient sentence compared to the original crime you were charged with. While it may sound like a good deal, it is advisable to go through the terms of any plea deal before admitting guilt.

Willingness to cooperate

In some cases, your cooperation with the police can see your charges reduced. This is especially true if the police are going for bigger fish, and your cooperation will help them nail down the suspect.

What you need to know

It is important to note that the buck stops with the prosecution when reducing charges. It means that the prosecution can choose to proceed with your case even when the evidence seems insufficient, which is why you need to be well prepared with your defense.

Anticipating any outcome will ensure that you are not caught flat-footed if you expect your charges to be reduced.