If you are indicted by a grand jury for a felony, can the charge be reduced to a misdemeanor?

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If you are indicted by a grand jury for a felony, can the charge be reduced to a misdemeanor?

Class D violent felony. If a lawyer can provethat the evidence is insufficient and presents it to the district attorney, can this charge be reduced (plea bargain trial)?

Asked on February 23, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The prosecutor has substantial discretion to negotiate a plea deal, and may negotiate one whereby you plead to a lesser charge--e.g. a misdomeanor, instead of a felony. Whether the prosecutor will do so depends on a number of factors, including the strength of the case and your prior record. (Note: while judges almost always approve plea deals, they don't have to: there  is a very small, but real, chance that a judge may not approve whatver is worked out.)

If the evidence is insufficient, however, there's a chance that you would not be convicted at all; criimes must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If there's a problem with the evidence against you, discuss with your attorney whether you should fight the charge rather than plead.


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