I Was Charged with a Crime. Can I Reach Out to the Prosecutor to Explain My Side?
In criminal cases, anyone charged with a crime is labeled the “defendant.” Usually, the defendant will be represented by a defense attorney. This could be a court-appointed public defender or may be a privately hired defense attorney.
In Arizona, the opposing side of a criminal case is the “State of Arizona,” which is represented by the prosecutor. (This is different from a civil case, in which the plaintiff, or victim, is a specific individual or group. To learn about the differences between civil and criminal cases, visit here.)
If you feel you were wrongfully charged with a crime, you may feel inclined to reach out to the prosecutor of your case to explain your side of things. While there is no law preventing a defendant from communicating with the prosecutor, doing so is highly discouraged.
Prosecutors are not a defendant’s personal attorney. Their priority is to prosecute, not to help you. Speaking to them can actually put you at risk of accidentally incriminating yourself through the information you provide to them.
If you were charged with a crime but choose not to be represented by a defense attorney, the prosecutor has the option to reach out to you directly. Even in this case, it is still not recommended to speak to, or negotiate with, the prosecution, as you run the risk of further self-incrimination or agreeing to plea deals that you may not fully understand the long-term ramifications of.
It is always best to hire a defense attorney to represent you in your criminal case. This allows you to benefit from their wisdom in the field, prevent yourself from being taken advantage of, and have the strongest defense that simultaneously protects your rights.
RIDEOUT LAW GROUP
With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.
Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:
- charges that are reduced or dropped.
- top experts reviewing your case.
- aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
- fines or probation in lieu of jail time.
At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.
Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.