Can the District Attorney add more charges once initial charges are made?

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Can the District Attorney add more charges once initial charges are made?

Was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Was charged with that and released on OR. My next court date is on the 12th. Is it possible for the DA to add more charges?

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

Andrew Goldberg

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In Peensylvania, the unfortunate answer is yes. The DA can add charges all the way up to the time of trial, However, the defendant can object on the basis of prejudice. The prejudice is typically shown when the new charge is very different ( the statutory language defining the crime charged ) from the earlier or old charges. You may be able to ask for a preliminary hearing on the new charge if the judge allows the DA to amend to include the new charge.

Russ Pietryga / Pietryga Law Office

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes.  It happens all the time.  Usually, you see it when the DA that is handling the case reviews it.  Most of the time a case gets screened by a DA that is not handling the case. 

Sometimes, if you make the DA work, they will amend the charges.  Of course, you will not get a DA to admit this.  They will tell you that in preparing for the next hearing they saw additional charges.

Hope this helps


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