Regardless of any other circumstances, you have the right to a fair trial when criminal suspicion is cast upon you. You should feel as if you can fight on even terms to assert your innocence, but things certainly do not feel fair when the prosecutor attempts to overcharge you.
Overcharging is a result of the prosecutor’s power to decide what charges to bring against you as the defendant. In addition to the main charge for which the police arrest you, the prosecutor can pile on additional charges even though they know you are likely not guilty of any of them.
Why do prosecutors overcharge a defendant?
Prosecutors who overcharge the defendant do so in an attempt to reach a favorable outcome for their case. Even if you know you are innocent of the additional charges, it can be overwhelming, stressful and outright scary to see many criminal charges stacked against you. The prosecutor might then use this sense of pressure to push you toward accepting a plea bargain in exchange for dismissing these additional charges.
How can you defend against overcharging?
Fighting back against multiple criminal charges can be exhausting and time-consuming. Even so, it is often the case that there is little substance to the accusations brought about through overcharging. The best way to fully protect your rights and freedoms is to coordinate with your legal team to combat these charges to convince the court to drop them entirely.
Overcharging is a questionable use of a prosecutor’s power and one for which you have no equal response to make as the defendant. The best thing you can do in the face of such abuse is to exercise your rights without compromising the freedoms you deserve.