What is the Role of the Prosecutor in the St. Louis Criminal Justice System?
The prosecutor is an individual that has been either elected, appointed, or hired to perform certain legal services for the government. If it is a larger municipality (such as St. Louis City), there is usually a publically elected prosecutor, and then a staff of junior-level attorneys who work underneath him or her. In smaller venues (such as Bel-Nor, MO), there is normally only one prosecutor who has been hired on a part-time basis. Either way, the prosecutor plays an essential role in the criminal justice system.
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It is the prosecutor’s main job to enforce the laws of the state of Missouri. So if you receive a citation from a police officer, and you are subsequently charged with that crime, it is the prosecutor who is assigned to your case once it lands in the court system. Most jurisdictions and courts give the prosecutor wide discretion as to how each case should be handled.
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But it is also true that most criminal courts are at any given time dealing with a very large number of cases (for instance, in 2010 for St. Louis City alone, there were 18,416 arrests for possession of marijuana). This results in a system that relies on getting things done as quickly as possible. And the two quickest ways to get things done is: 1) you plead guilty to the charges; or 2) you hire an attorney to work out a deal with the prosecutor. But you should you know that if you choose #1, a plea of guilty will result in a criminal conviction going onto your permanent record (which will cause you a great deal of trouble when you try to get a job or an apartment in the future).
On the other hand, if you were to retain the services of an experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorney, you would have the benefit of someone working hard for you, and standing up for your rights. And that is far better than the alternative described above!!
The affordable St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken, have been helping people with their misdemeanor charges for over ten (10) years. Our goal is to make sure that the charges leveled against you do not stay on your permanent record, and do any lasting damage. And we want to do all of this at an affordable price. The fees for a typical misdemeanor case start at $450. But the initial consultation to discuss your legal issues is free of charge. So contact us today!!
We have two main locations: in the Central West End of St. Louis, at 1 North Taylor (on the corner of Taylor and Laclede), 63108; and in the Twin Cities of Festus / Crystal City, at 1000 Truman Blvd (Highway 61/67), 63019. The initial consultation is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!!