I’ve Been Arrested. What are the Odds that the Prosecutor Will Decide to File Charges Against Me?

October 8, 2023
R.J. Dreiling

As a former senior prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, R.J. Dreiling reviewed thousands of arrest reports to determine whether or not to file formal criminal charges. Though it’s always best to speak directly with an attorney about your case, generally speaking, prosecutors will almost always look at a person’s criminal history to see whether there are prior arrests/convictions for similar behavior.  The less arrests/convictions, the less likely criminal charges will get filed.  

Prosecutors will also look to see if there is corroborating evidence that proves what someone is saying is true. That means that just because someone says something doesn’t always mean charges will get filed. The less witnesses there are, the less likely charges will get filed. The more witnesses there are, the more likely charges will get filed. If there is a video or other forensic evidence that proves a crime, the more likely charges will get filed. 

Very frequently, there will be a long period of time between when someone is arrested and when the prosecutor reviews a case to determine if charges should be filed. Depending on the case, it can be extremely important to get an attorney to help during this time. Sometimes, a detective may only get one side of the story. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help to make sure that other evidence gets to them before they go to the prosecutor. At Dreiling Law APC we can help make sure that your rights are protected during this critical period and work to gather any evidence that may support your case. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation and guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.