Can I get conspiracy charges to obtain goods dropped by paying off the debt?

UPDATED: Jan 20, 2011

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Can I get conspiracy charges to obtain goods dropped by paying off the debt?

I allowed someone to write a check off of a closed account of mine. The place that cashed check said they would drop charges if I paid it. I have since paid it and charges are not dropped he took in proof that I paid it in full. I have tried to call DA’s office with no luck of having anyone speak with me.

Asked on January 20, 2011 under Criminal Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Don't confuse the civil--or lawsuits--legal system with the criminal--or going to jail--legal system. Criminal charges are brought by the state, or government; they are not actually brought by the victim of the crime, who is not a party to the proceeding. (The victim is often called the "complaining witness," which neatly identifies his or her role.) Therefore, once the prosecutor's office has been appraised of a potential crime and decides to investigate or prosecute, matters are not under the victim's control. The victim can *request* that charges be dropped, and prosecutors will often cooperate in less-serious cases--but the prosecutor does not have to do so. They can keep prosecuting. And more generally, repaying the money does not wipe out the original crime (though it may provide good grounds for lienency), so even though you repaid, the prosecutor can still go after you.

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