Criminal Defense

I was ticketed, and when I went to court I was charged with something else? Can a misdemeanor be changed to a felony?

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Monday July 11, 2011

Any time you are given a citation or booked into jail on criminal charges, the charges you were arrested on may change by the time you get in front of a judge.  It is the police officer’s job to determine whether it is likely that you committed an offense (probable cause).  The officer then either gives you a ticket or books you into jail on the offenses he or she believes you have committed.  The citation or booking sheet; however, is just a recommendation of what to charge you with. 
The actual decision is up to the prosecutor.  The prosecuting attorney is sent the citation or booking sheet, along with the corresponding police reports.  The prosecutor will decide what to charge you with based on what he or she believes they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  Often times, the prosecutor will either add charges that were not included when you were first apprehended by law enforcement; or the lawyer prosecuting your case may decide there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute and dismiss some, or all, of the criminal charges against you.  Because of this, a misdemeanor can turn into a felony; and a felony can turn into a misdemeanor. 
In Omaha, Nebraska, the Douglas County Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecuting all felony offenses (i.e. robbery, drug possession, felony theft, murder, etc.) and crimes involving domestic violence.  The Omaha City Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for prosecuting all misdemeanor offenses (i.e. DUI’s, traffic tickets, misdemeanor shoplifting, etc.) except for misdemeanors involving domestic violence.

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