When 2 people are arrested for the same crime, can only 1 person voluntarily take all the charges?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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When 2 people are arrested for the same crime, can only 1 person voluntarily take all the charges?

On April 27,2018 I was arrested after the passenger in my vehicle was arrested for selling stolen items to an undercover cop. Once ‘passenger’ was searched there was also a substantial amount of drugs found on their physical being. The ‘passenger’ was arrested right then, I was told I was free to go, due to nothing illegal being found on my person or in my vehicle. The ‘passengers’ vehicle was parked at my house, which I was informed by the officers, contained more stolen item. Therefore, the officers were obtaining a search warrant for my ‘entire’ property, instead of the detached garage where the ‘passengers’ vehicle was located. While searching my property the officers ‘allegedly’ found 3 small bags that they claim had drug residue in them. In return I was then arrested. After being held in jail without bond for 4 days I was released from jail without ever seeing a judge, but I had to sign a document of which stated throughout the duration of this case I could not be charged with the same charges that I was being released for. 8 days after being released from jail, there were 3 more felony charges filed against me, along with an active warrant to be held without bond. The ‘passenger’ has stated that when I receive legal counsel, they will be contacting my legal counsel to make a deposition taking full responsibility of all items that were found that day, so that all charges will be dropped on me. Can the ‘passenger’ in fact do something that will have all charges currently against me dropped?

Asked on July 12, 2018 under Criminal Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The passenger cannot force or compel the charges to be dropped against you: he has no control over what the authorities (i.e. the prosector) does, and they could still proceed against you even if he tries to claim it was all him, if they believe the evidence sugggests you were involved, too.
That said, the authorities could agree to drop the charges against you as part of entering into a plea deal with the passenger; or even without a deal, if they have weak or no evidence against you but they have someone admitting to the crimes, they may simply go after the passenger. So they might drop the charges, but the passenger taking responsibility does not by itself force them to do so.

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