Overcharging is a method used by certain prosecutors in which the defendant receives multiple criminal charges beyond what the police arrested them for. The goal of overcharging is often to pressure the defendant into accepting a plea bargain.
Not only can it feel like the odds are against you when facing overcharges in the courtroom, but the lasting effects may linger for the rest of your life.
Overcharging in the criminal justice system can cause significant emotional distress. Accusations that go beyond the actual offense may lead to heightened anxiety, stress and a sense of injustice. This emotional turmoil can persist even if the charges are eventually reduced or dismissed.
Excessive charges can generate negative perceptions within communities and social circles. Being associated with serious allegations can result in isolation, strained relationships and even ostracization. Such stigmatization can affect personal identity and hamper opportunities for growth.
Adults facing exaggerated charges may encounter difficulties in their professional lives. Background checks for employment can reveal the charges, potentially limiting job opportunities or hindering career advancement. The mere presence of these charges can cast doubt on one’s integrity.
Trust in the justice system
Experiencing overcharging can erode an individual’s trust in the fairness of the justice system. The feeling of being unjustly targeted may lead to skepticism about the system’s integrity and the effectiveness of legal safeguards.
Reports indicate that as many as 98% of criminal cases in federal courts end in a plea bargain. Knowing the possible correlation between these plea deals and overcharging, it may be the case that many people are living with the long-term effects of overcharging. You can strive for a better outcome by building a defense in anticipation of possible overcharges.