The difference between suspicions and criminal charges is a prosecutor’s confidence that he or she can make a case. This may be in front of a jury or a judge, but a judge will decide the most vital part of the case. The evidence that may be considered is what spells the difference between a conviction and an acquittal or dropped charges.
Sometimes, evidence ends up in the hands of prosecutors or law enforcement officers in improper or illegal ways. The Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and Article 11 in the Michigan Constitution protect people’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure of their personal effects.
Two people from Michigan are facing charges after a wallet supposedly lost by one of them contained possible evidence of fraud. The man from Ypsilanti and the woman from Ann Arbor were arrested at an airport after a flight attendant found a wallet and opened it to find identification.
The wallet contained identification cards and credit cards in multiple names, and a search for outstanding warrants turned up outstanding charges in Florida and past fraud-related crimes. Although arrest warrants may lead to extradition regardless of charges where a person is arrested, evidence that is deemed illegal or improperly obtained may be thrown out and not considered by a judge or jury.
People facing criminal charges may have the opportunity to have charges dismissed in pretrial hearings or have charges reduced based on negotiations with prosecutors. It is generally a good idea to consult a lawyer, which is every person’s right before or after arrest.