Unlike civil cases, criminal cases are not pursued by an individual. Rather, it is prosecuted by an attorney who works for the government. In state cases, the prosecutor is generally a District Attorney. In federal cases, a U.S. Attorney will try the case.
Offenses Violate Government Laws
The reason a government attorney, instead of the victim, handles the case is because crimes are committed against state or federal laws. The government is charged with prosecuting violations.
The Prosecutor Must Prove the Defendant's Guilt
State and federal laws contain specific elements that define an act as a criminal offense. The burden of proof rests on the prosecutor to demonstrate that the defendant is guilty of all elements of the alleged crime. This requires them to bring forth evidence that supports their claims. The evidence can include statements from the victim, which means the victim has some level of involvement in the case, but they are not responsible for proving that the defendant committed the alleged offense.
Also, because the defendant is innocent until proven guilty, they do not need to show that they did not commit the offense. However, they do have the opportunity to present evidence that challenges the prosecution's case against them. They also have the right to face the person who accused them of the alleged crime and cross-examine them to dispute their allegations.
The Victim Cannot Drop Charges
Since it is the government, rather than the victim, that prosecutes the offense, it can move forward with the case even if the victim decides they no longer want to pursue the matter. In such instances, the prosecutor may have a bit more difficulty proving guilt because they might have lost a key witness for their side. If they do not have other compelling evidence that links the defendant to the crime, they may decide to drop the case.
Contact Ahmad Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
Our attorneys have extensive experience handling various types of legal matters, including drug offenses, DUIs, theft offenses, and violent crimes. We understand the trial processes and know how to build effective strategies to challenge the prosecutor's evidence. When you retain our services, we will fight hard to work toward getting charges reduced or dropped.
Our attorneys are available 24/7 to discuss your case. Call us at (847) 791-2294 or contact us online.