Questions regarding specific criminal charges.

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Questions regarding specific criminal charges.

My boyfriend was recently arrested and charged with DISORDERLY CONDUCT: DRUNK and THREATEN WITH INTENT TO TERRORIZE. After his arraignment, the charges were changed to THREATEN WITH INTENT TO TERRORIZE and OBSTRUCT/RESIST EXECUTIVE OFFICER. Are charges often changed during the course of a case? And also, what exactly do the charges THREATEN WITH INTENT TO TERRORIZE and OBSTRUCT/RESIST EXECUTIVE OFFICER mean?

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of California, with respect to your first question the general rule is that the prosecuting authority has the discretion to decide what the defendant will be charged with.  Police officers often arrest a suspect and, based upon the facts that they observe, charge that suspect with the crimes that they feel best fit the conduct.  However, it is important to remember that police officers are not attorneys -- they do not have law degrees.  Therefore, the prosecuting attorney may review the police report and determine that the conduct at issue is in violation of different or additional statutes that the officers did not consider.  Nevertheless, I suggest that your boyfriend consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney to discuss this matter more completely in the interest of obtaining the most favorable resolution possible.


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