Can felony charges be reduced to dropped for a first-time offender if the victim doesn't want to prosecute?

Question Details:I entered my church at night and took a TV. i was arrested at the scene for BURGLARY, TRESPASSING, POSSESSION OF BURGLARY TOOLS, AND THEFT. The D.A. has charged me with BURGLARY AND THEFT. i have a clean record and the act was done under the influence of alcohol and the church is trying to have the charges dropped. Could the charges be changed to misdemeanors or dropped all together? And is jail time likely? Should I speak with a criminal law attorney? In Yuma, AZ.

Asked 3 years ago under Criminal Defense | 3166 Views | More Legal Topics

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SJZ, Member, New York Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 3 years ago

DEFINITELY speak with a criminal defense attorney--you have, as you note, committed a felony, and could easily go to jail for more than one year and also suffer other civil disabilities (e.g. no voting; a criminal record which could impact getting a job).

Yes, the charges could be reduced to a misdemeanor, or even dropped altogether. It is up to the prosecutor's office whether to do that. The prosecutor will usually consider the factors you name, including the wishes of the victim, but is no obligated to do what the victim requests--if this DA wants to take a hardline or make an example of you or show he's tough on crime or that he protects churches or whatever, he could go ahead. That's why, even though you do have factors in your favor, you should get a criminal defense attorney to advise and represent you.

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