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What is Prosecutorial Discretion?

What is Prosecutorial Discretion, also known as “PD”?

Prosecutorial discretion is the power and authority that the prosecutor has in decided whether or not to charge an individual for a crime, along with which criminal charges to file against the defendant. An example of this would be murder as a means of self-defense, in a case like this one, the charges may be reduced or dropped entirely depending on the details of the case. Prosecutorial discretion is an incredibly substantial and necessary part of the justice system as it allows for leeway and mercy in a justice system that can be quite harsh in terms of punishment and consequences being faced by individuals whose cases deserve more leniency.

In some cases, OPLA lawyers exercise PD prior to EIOR in proceedings. In exercising PD this way, the attorneys are able to properly apply principles that apply to all aspects of their own activities; some of which include following proper guidelines, considering judgement & justice in specific cases, ethically discharging duties, maintaining the rule of law, etc.

Prosecutorial discretion may arise at various stages during the removal process and may not look the same in each case as it takes on various forms. PD is exercised on a case specific basis, there are many different factors that OPLA must consider in regard to noncitizens which include:

  • Any prior history of immigration
  • Length of residence within the US
  • Family service in US military
  • Any family ties in the US
  • Manner of entry within the US
  • Work/education history within US
  • Status in criminal or civil proceedings
  • Humanitarian factors (medical conditions, children, caregiver)

In cases where a noncitizen has been charged abroad for a crime committed within the US, OPLA lawyers must consider the following factors as well:

  • Seriousness of crime
  • Recency of crime
  • Time/length of imposed sentence if any
  • Rehabilitation indication
  • Length of time since the conviction has occurred
  • Supporting evidence determining whether or not noncitizen poses a public safety threat in the US

There are various factors to be determined by OPLA attorneys, though each case may be entirely different as PD is case specific. If the noncitizen is more willing and cooperative in submitting relevant information regarding his or her request for PD, OPLA attorneys will also be able to fully assess any circumstances and make informed decision pertaining to their specific case with full discretion.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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