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What to Expect From Philadelphia Prosecutors at a Criminal Trial
Unlike the defendant and their Philadelphia criminal lawyer, the prosecution has the burden in any criminal case to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, it’s like a prosecutor has the job of building a home brick by brick by putting a case together against an individual charged with a crime. They attempt to build the most solid house that they can by stacking bricks until they’re completed.
However, it is the job of an experienced criminal defense attorney to attack each and every brick or each and every part of the commonwealth’s case. If that is done, doubt is created and that is the main way that an experienced criminal defense attorney can obtain a successful verdict for their client.
How Does Prosecution go About Proving Their Case?
The prosecution has many resources to assist them in proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt. These resources include multiple agencies; the Philadelphia Police Department, the state police, the FBI, the DEA, and any other special agencies, the Attorney General’s office that can assist with their own resources and personnel to help prosecutors to meet their burden.
Physical evidence obtained by police, statements by witnesses, ballistics evidence, medical records, and experts, drug experts, and surveillance videos, forensic evidence, blood, DNA are among some of the most common examples of the resources that are available to prosecutors.
The prosecution has to convince a judge or that an individual charged with a crime is in fact the individual who committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. And that’s what they use all of their available resources for. They have to show evidence of a person committing a crime. To that resolve they use fingerprints, statements, evidence of gun use or ballistics, gun powder residue, medical records, expert testimony, surveillance video, forensic evidence and anything else at their disposal to at least attempt to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Do Philadelphia Prosecutors Treat Felonies Differently from Misdemeanors?
Prosecutors treat both felonies and misdemeanors fairly harshly. While misdemeanors are often sent to pre-trial diversionary programs, some more serious offenses like assault are sent directly to trial. Felonies are always treated more harshly and carry higher sentences and there are much less pre-trial diversionary programs when dealing with a felony. As such felonies are treated much more harshly.
This even includes the non-violent felonies, given the sentencing guidelines which dictate what a judge can and cannot give for sentences. For non-violent felonies they carry higher offense gravity scores, thus resulting in higher sentences than a misdemeanor.